Hard Brexit could damage small businesses, say ‘Listen Local’ entrepreneurs in new Open Britain website

London’s small and medium sized businesses are telling their stories about how their firms are being affected by the Brexit vote, in a new website launched by the Open Britain campaign.

Founded by a group of Open Britain activists in South London, Listen Local collects testimony from entrepreneurs and small business owners, giving them a platform to show the damage that hard Brexit has the potential to do to some of London’s most exciting and dynamic companies.

After just days of being live, a selection of people who have put their stories on Listen Local include an organic food company worried by barriers being put up to exports to the EU, a chain of Greek restaurants facing challenges importing ingredients, and a digital marketing agency with an office in Slovenia that has already been hurt by the collapse in the value of the pound.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“London’s entrepreneurs are telling us loud and clear that the Government’s headlong rush towards hard Brexit is damaging their businesses.

“The Government has made a political choice to allow immigration policy to dictate economic policy, and therefore to pull Britain out of our most important trading bloc before negotiations with the EU have even begun.

“This will damage small businesses which sell to and do business in Europe, which are part of cross-European supply chains, and which benefit from being able to hire staff from overseas.

“Small businesses, the real motor of our economy, are being ignored by this Government. Their voices must be heard, which is why I urge everyone to get behind Open Britain and tell us the damage that is being done by the Government’s obsession with a hard, destructive Brexit.”

South London resident and Open Britain supporter Rob Griffiths, who helped set up Listen Local, said: 

“I walk past businesses like these every day, and I know how international London businesses are, be they large or small. A close relationship with Europe going forward is vitally important for London businesses.

“Small business is the backbone of London’s economy, and they thrive thanks to our links with the EU. I would urge London businesses to get in touch and tell us their stories about how Europe is important for them, and how they would be damaged by a hard Brexit.”

/ends

Notes to editors: 

The Listen Local website is here: https://listenlocal.wordpress.com/.