We’d love to see how far we can take our little business from our Mother’s Garage to a respected E-Tailer specialising in our gift baskets for all occasions field..
However we’re not sure yet because; does Brexit mean Brexit or does Brexit mean simply a worse deal with the European Union spun into being a success by the right wing media for the right wing political establishment.
On the 29th March, the UK formally leaves the European Union as an equal partner. All the talk in the London dominated media is of an economic nature and its future. We’ve been asked by several of our customers what Brexit means for us with regards to our business beyond the media headlines.
It’s a natural question. Our customers visit us from all around the globe, which we find both astonishing and humbling. Of course we always give them the grand tour showing them our premises and boring them with our crazy, excitable chatter about keeping our operational costs as low as possible to put all the lovely foods and premium gift products into our gift baskets. Our favourite strapline when describing what makes our business different from rivals is that we’re the gift basket company “for all your friends and family back home”. Is your favourite gift basket and hamper company for Europe going to be able to continue post Brexit?
We’re based in Northern Ireland, but we ship to all of Europe. However in only 2 countries do our sales exceed the limit for sales before having to register for payment of taxes under EU Directive 6. Those 2 countries being UK and Ireland, so the impact of leaving the EU is dramatic for us, not just economically, but socially.
It’s the social angle, which has been ignored by the media because they know that whilst the economic arguments can be spun both ways, there is no doubting the decline in our societies wealth and diversity, so as a small business, what have we noticed?
(Please keep in mind the following are anecdotal observations) So when we’re asked what impact Brexit will have we tend to think about the social cost more than anything else.
- High Rising Costs of Essential Food items. Small business food producers are simply giving up resulting in higher pricing for the quality goods we need/want to offer. It's not so much the higher prices, which are the problem, but the loss in choice and the decrease in competition.
- We are already one of the highest taxed countries in the world and Brexit has shredded the value of our currency to such an extent that our under pressure profit margins are exacerbated by low tax thresholds, meaning the value of our post tax disposable income has been eviscerated.
- Europeans leaving. This year we lost 3 workers from the EU and whilst they have been replaced with young local people, they require more management and supervision to prevent mistakes. As a society we lose our diversity.
- More credit restrictions. All of a sudden businesses are halving credit facilities using Brexit as the justification. It certainly feels as if there is less trust and its making doing business extremely difficult.
However all of these observations pale into insignificance when compared to the social cost of a hard border. It has taken a generation to normalise the border through the Good Friday Agreement. We’d really prefer not to be going back to those times. We didn’t vote for Brexit, but we’re the ones who are paying for it. So perhaps our summary of the impact of Brexit on us is that nothing really ever changes, it simply fades away.
Help us not to fade away please, we need your support and orders. We love designing, assembling and dispatching our gift baskets on behalf of your instructions. We cannot understand why anyone would want to outsource the best part of the business to fulfilment companies or Amazon/Fulfilment warehouses. By ordering from Basketsgalore, you are supporting small businesses producers and small business people.