Manchester Christmas markets: The impact of Brexit

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Manchester’s Christmas markets lifting up the festive spirits all around the city.

From home decorations to crafts and food, it’s an annual opportunity for UK and Mancunian businesses to make a profit.

We all enjoy what Christmas markets put on the spot. But why have all these businesses established their market in Manchester rather than any other city?

In addition to these question, comes a major concern. Will their business get affected by Brexit?

According to the Bank of England, the level of business investment is expected to get lower by 2019, negatively affecting productivity growth.

Affected by Brexit

Assad Choudhry, 28, salesman at a Christmas market told TNT that the business he’s working for will get affected by Brexit. He said: “The rate of the pound has gone very low. The trade is getting expensive.

“When the actual Brexit happens it will get worse. This is not good news for us, as traders travelling all around Europe.”

The owner was one of the first people to start a Christmas market in Manchester, in 1999, ‘so he’s been coming back ever since’.

The main business sells flowers and plants, but during this season they adjusted to selling Christmas décor.

Uncertainty

Others remain uncertain.

Paul Miller, 55, salesman at ‘The Mantra’ Christmas market, added: “There’s so much uncertainty about what is going to happen in the future.

“All businesses are suffering at the moment until there’s a clearer picture of what’s actually going on.”

The Mantra market sells mainly Indian products such as home decor, incenses and clothing. Paul said: “We sell old bound journals which are made by an Indian family. We deal directly with those people and they get some of our profit as well.”

Not affected by Brexit

On the contrary, Brexit won’t affect all business. The reasons vary from popularity and quality of their products to being self-employed.

Gareth Davis, 37, salesman at the Cheshire honey market, told TNT: “We’ve had a stall here for seven years. I don’t think Brexit will have an impact on our business.

“We supply a pretty neat product. People come back every year because the honey is good.”

The business has beehives around South Manchester and Cheshire, supplying honey and bee wax candles.

Graeme Long’s family business is selling handmade ‘moonlighting’ bottles.

He said: “Our products are handmade. We sell our product in Manchester because it is one of the biggest markets in the North.

When asked if his business will get affected by Brexit, he commented: “Not at all. It is a home industry and we do not export items.”

Businesses that trade their products in Europe are more likely to collide with Brexit’s inevitable effects. However, those who are self employed and based in the UK are less likely to see any possible impact in the future.

TNT News Ioanna Kyriakou

Photo Credit: Visit Manchester

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