Research carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has suggested that confidence levels amongst the self-employed have ‘fallen significantly’ over the last year.
The FSB’s Small Business Index (SBI) for the UK’s self-employed community stood at +2.8 in the second quarter of this year – a significant fall when compared to the reading of +9.7 recorded in the first quarter of 2018.
The SBI also revealed that 28% of UK sole traders expect their business performance to worsen over the next three months.
To help boost confidence amongst self-employed individuals, the FSB has launched a new ‘think self-employed’ agenda, which urges the government to secure a Brexit deal that ‘works for sole traders’.
Commenting on the matter, Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: ‘The UK’s self-employed community contributes more than £270 billion to the economy annually, yet they’re still treated as an afterthought by policymakers.
‘The self-employed need to be front of mind for Brexit negotiators. We must avoid a future scenario where our contractors have to fill out burdensome paperwork when completing jobs in Europe. Any Free Trade Agreements struck after 2020 need to include dedicated small business chapters to ensure firms of all sizes, including sole traders, benefit from new arrangements.’