The Forum of Private Businesses has urged the government to take swift action to support small traders following the vote to leave the EU.

Ian Cass, managing director of the Forum of Private Business, said: "Politicians now no longer have the excuse of EU interference and need to act quickly and effectively to offset what as most economists believe will be a period of uncertainty. This means the UK's 1.3 million employers will need support in managing this period of disruption if it is to continue to drive the British economy."

He added:"Our feedback suggests that a majority of business owners, even those involved in international trade supported the leave campaign as a way of freeing them from red tape that was imposed on them. We need an accelerated deregulation programme – vague promises of £10 billion cuts are no longer acceptable - and a beefed up skills programme so that UK workers have the skills needed by local employers."


Continuing as normal

Meanwhile Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief Kate Nicholls has called for calm in the wake of the result.

She said: "The EU referendum will, in time, prove momentous. However, for the moment, business will and must continue as normal. In the months ahead, while the impact of the decision unfolds, the ALMR will work closely with the government and its agencies, to protect the commercial interests of our members. We are reassured to hear from the Governor of the Bank of England that he is fully prepared to back the UK economy and support British business and that clear messages should reassure consumers, investors and operators.

"While the uncertainties that will result from the referendum's outcome are unwelcome, the fact is that the UK has spoken about an issue that it holds close to its heart. From here, all parties must move forward in a manner that best serves the UK's citizens – our teams and our guests as well as our businesses, including the pubs, clubs and restaurants that remain at the heart of our society."


The foodservice sector

Peter Backman, managing director of foodservice consultancy Horizons, said the foodservice sector will be "less buoyant than it would otherwise have been" following the referendum.

He said: "The UK economy will now face a period of uncertainty, which is likely to be intense over the next few days and weeks, but will be ongoing for five years or so as Britain finds its new way in the world.

"Notably for foodservice, the pound will remain volatile and will trade at lower rates than over the last few years."

He added: "Overall we could be facing reduced sales, increased costs and lower demand from the home market and while this could be offset to a small degree by more foreign tourists coming here due to the fall in the value of the pound, the eating-out market now faces less growth than we predicted for this year and next."

Read what pub trade bosses had to say before the referendum


A word from the bosses

Tim Martin Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said: “ The referendum result will enhance freedom and security.

“Some people will now be anxious, but concentrating on these immensely important factors will provide reassurance. Anxiety about the economic effects of independence during the campaign was misplaced.

“The UK will thrive as an independent country, making its own laws, and we will work with our good friends and neighbours in Europe and elsewhere to ensure a positive outcome for all parties. The most important factor now is to work together for our mutual benefit.

“On a practical level, from my experience of running a business, the key factor now is to avoid the appearance and the reality of rushing to ‘do a deal’ with the EU.

“There is plenty of time and the UK is in an immensely strong position. A period of calm, reflection and discussion will be beneficial.”

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