‘It’s a big world and it’s time to broaden our horizons’ says director of West Sussex home improvement firm with days to go until historic vote
“When it comes to the upcoming EU referendum we’ve only been hearing from big business and corporations, which is great but they’re not the engine that drives the economy with 60% of the UK’s GDP coming from SME’s like us?”
This is the view of Michele Wietscher, who is managing director of Newview Windows & Conservatories – one of the largest home improvement companies in the South East.
Michele employs 42 members of staff and the business has a budgeted turnover of £4.8milllion this financial year, with the business supplying its products to consumers, home improvement companies; architects and property developers.
She says that groups that represent smaller businesses have been feeding into the debate, such as the CBI and FSB, but not many smaller or medium sized business owners have made their feelings known about the upcoming referendum.
“It’s probably because they’re too busy running their businesses and creating jobs to consider the issue or comment on it but at the same it is a once in a life time vote and whatever the decision, the impact will be huge. It’s a bit frustrating that we’ve heard a lot from big business and corporates but not much from the little guys,” Michele says.
She continues: “My view is that we should vote to leave the European Union. Yes we will need to re-negotiate trade deals but it is nonsense to suggest that other countries won’t trade with us, when you consider the amount we import. As a business owner I agree with and understand the benefits of having a common market – but it has evolved from this good idea into an unwieldy organisation that impinges on the nation state and sovereignty.
“We’re living in a big world now, so let’s broaden our horizons and trade with Europe but agree not to be dictated to by Europe.”
Michele also says that she hasn’t noticed that uncertainty is starting to strangle confidence, as some commentators have suggested, and that good business people and businesses are just ‘getting on with it’.
She comments: ‘Some businesses may be putting decisions on hold but this isn’t our experience. And for those that are, June 23rd is only days away so order will be restored before too long anyway.’