Why it's more important than ever to buy British, explains Chris Ingram

Within days of the announcement of the Brexit vote, we’ve seen major construction company stocks crash by almost a quarter, says Chris Ingram, managing director of Cornish-based underfloor heating specialists Continental Underfloor.

Heating installers, plumbers, builders and contractors running businesses of all shapes and sizes now find their livelihood at risk.

Fear is already setting in that investment in their larger projects will be withdrawn as purse strings are tightened once again, resulting in a significant loss of business.

When this happens, as seen during the economic crash of 2008, we see larger organisations begin fishing in the pond usually inhabited by smaller companies. There will be increased competition, resulting in increased pressure on SMEs and one man bands, to meet their targets and stay afloat. There’s potential for serious price wars, and for struggling companies, the need to make redundancies and serious cutbacks may become a reality.

When redundancies are made in an industry, the unemployed swap sector and, when we eventually come out of the red and into the black, it brings with it a skills drain. We can’t let that happen across the construction sector; talent must be nurtured, but we as business owners need to have the resource to provide those opportunities.

There’s only one way to make that happen: buy British. Every UK citizen – every household, every business – has a responsibility to start buying British as much as possible. If the product isn’t manufactured in the UK, make sure it’s designed in Britain. If it’s not designed in this country, buy from a home-grown British company that employs in the UK. Quite simply, keep the pound in Britain.

Doing so will increase demand for our British companies, manufacturers and service industries alike, bringing economies of scale, employment, and wealth for Britain. It will also make us more competitive on a global basis.

We only have a short window to seize this opportunity. The pound is currently low against the Euro and other world currencies, so we have to begin acting now. Manufacturers should use this period to their advantage – not to take a profit, but to invest in economies of scale. This, coupled with us all buying British to drive additional demand, will help us weather this storm.

Pre ‘Independence Day’, we were listed as the fifth largest economy in the world, purely off the back of our financial services sector. We need to address that, and go back to doing what Britain does well: making things, adding value, and selling our products to all four corners of the world.

For more details about Continental Underfloor click here.

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