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Date: 19/07/2016

Chamber Chief Executive, Mike Ashton, comments on the latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) results.

After months of discussion and heated debate, we now have a result regarding the EU referendum. From our recent polls we know that our membership was split over the EU debate – some businesses will therefore be pleased with the Brexit vote and others will not. The two counties are home to many world-class, successful and innovative businesses. The referendum has caused some division, but we now need to join together as a business community.

We now await further political clarity and communication from the Government about a clear timeline for the UK’s exit from the European Union and answers to the many real questions which businesses face. The Chamber will continue to support businesses through this period of uncertainty and will continue to work with the British Chambers of Commerce to keep businesses updated and to champion the key business issues.

Q2 2016 is the biggest snapshot of how the local economy and business community were performing just before the referendum. The results show how uncertainty affected business confidence with the domestic sales and export sales balances falling slightly, as well as affecting the positive outlook for profitability and turnover for the next year. Some key indicators remained relatively static highlighting that business growth has been put on hold until a result was clear. The immediate economic impact of the EU referendum on the local business community will be clearer in the next report for Q3 2016.

While there is uncertainty, the business community must remain positive and strong. Our local businesses have shown great resilience and courage in the most unsettling times, I have no doubt that we will champion through any challenges we may face.

Read the full report here.