Business leaders call on Havering entrepreneurs to embrace Brexit opportunities

Romford Market stall holders pictures this week.

Romford Market stall holders pictures this week. - Credit: Archant

Business experts called on companies in Havering and across the UK to embrace the opportunities offered to them after the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU).

Founder of Enterprise Nation Emma Jones MBE

Founder of Enterprise Nation Emma Jones MBE - Credit: Archant

Business leaders in the borough are optimistic trade will continue to flourish even with the country outside of the EU.

This comes after the London stock market plunged this morning in the wake of the UK’s referendum vote to leave the union.

Managing director of Romford-based Coborn Engineering, which specialises in the manufacturing of high-precision tools, Steve Westlake told the Recorder the vote was a “huge” opportunity for all manufacturing companies.

“It’s exciting. This decision is a huge opportunity for all British manufacturing companies and I encourage all those companies to take it.

“We should not be afraid to export around the world. We are hoping to double our turnover in the next five years,” he said.

Coborn Engineering exports 95 per cent of its products abroad with more than 60pc going to China.

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Mr Westlake said the company had many customers in the EU but there would be no reason for those partnerships to end.

“People need to have strong beliefs and confidence in their product and go out there and sell them.

“The exit of the EU doesn’t change anything. British manufacturing is the best and we need to have the confidence of that,” he added.

Emma Jones, founder of small business support group Enterprise Nation, which recently launched its programme in the borough, encouraged small businesses to get trading.

She believed they had the ability to respond fast to new market demands and take this opportunity to grow.

“Small businesses are fast-moving and tenacious. In the main, entrepreneurs are quick and optimistic and they will look for the opportunities to trade and innovate.

“There is still trade to be done in the EU and more opportunities now than ever that businesses need to take.

“Let’s get Britain trading,” she said.

Another reassuring message came from Havering’ Chamber of Commerce.

Chairman Barry Hicks said the long-term positive effects of a Brexit will outweigh the short term uncertainty of the markets.

“The fact that we are coming out is going to be a challenge for the country but we now need to see what the government will do.

“In the short term this country will take a hit, especially the financial markets, but in the long-term it will recover and we might excess what we have now.”

He added the priority was now for the UK to elect a new government.