200 SME owners, self-employed people and sole traders have signed an open letter urging Brits to vote to leave the EU on Thursday 23 June.
The small business bosses think a Brexit would provide “flexibility and adaptability”, which is key to a thriving SME community and its long-term success.
As reported on The Telegraph website today, the letter wants voters not to listen to "a minority of managers from Britain's largest companies" who want Britons to stay in the EU.
On 23 February, 197 chairmen and CEOs of some FTSE 100 companies including BT, Marks & Spencer, Vodaphone signed a letter published in The Times that said leaving the EU would “deter investment and threaten jobs” and “put the economy at risk”.
Co-ordinated by the Leave.EU campaign, the letter from SMEs said that the opinion of small businesses has been overlooked in the “in” or “out” debate.
Recently much has been made of the support given for our continuing membership to the EU by a minority of managers from Britain's largest companies. But little attention, as ever, has been given to the stance of SME's in this debate. SME's are the incubators for tomorrow's success stories.
The letter also reminds readers that small businesses employ the majority of the UK’s workforce. The entrepreneurs also explained that they have to tackle “the EU’s constant diet of unnecessary regulations, which add to our cost base, reduce our bottom line and raise prices for our customers for no return”.
If EU institutions are tone-deaf to the genuine desire for change to remain competitive, the EU is destined to fail. We believe in the future of our country. We believe that our economy can do better and create more jobs, without being held back by the EU, thus we should vote to leave.
Poll says stay in EU
A survey by accountancy firm Moore Stephens recently revealed that six in ten SME bosses would vote to stay in the EU. The poll of 500 small and medium-sized businesses also showed that 17% want to leave, according to financial news site Cityam.
Partner at Moore Stephens, Mark Lamb, remarked: “Owner-managed businesses are concerned that future growth will be disproportionately hit by a UK exit as they would no longer compete on a level playing field in the EU.”
Lamb also believed that a Brexit could “severely destabilise business growth in the long-run”.