Could Brexit hurt businesses closer to home?

THE British vote to leave the European Union has caused uncertainty for Sunshine Coast companies with interests in the UK.

Mooloolaba-based Jetts CEO Brendon Levenson says he is now considering whether he UK is the best location for Jetts' European headquarters, although his plans for a September launch of his fitness brand in the UK will continue unperturbed.

"I think there was an immediate level of shock around it," Mr Levenson said.

Several staff had relocated to the UK, and were now wondering what effect Brexit would have on their ability to move around Europe as Jetts continues to grow and expand around the continent, he said.

UK REELS: Protestors on the day British PM David Cameron announced his resignation after the EU Referendum.
UK REELS: Protestors on the day British PM David Cameron announced his resignation after the EU Referendum. FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

"It raises questions for us about where we base ourselves in Europe, whether that be in the UK," Mr Levenson said.

Founded in 2007, Jetts' first club was on the Gold Coast but it now has 277 clubs around the world, including the Netherlands, New Zealand and Thailand.

The drop in value of the British pound was good for British exporters but would increase costs for Jetts, which imports equipment for its clubs.

"I think that any time there's these big type of events I think there's an over-reaction in the market and then it recovers fairly quickly," Mr Levenson said.

He said the long-term impacts of Brexit were at this stage unknown.

"I don't think anyone really understands that at the moment," Mr Levenson said.

"Our business is fairly simple and we don't see any major effects on what we're doing."

He said Jetts was "not looking at changing our business strategy based off what's happened".

Maroochydore-based digital school newsletter startup Schoolzine is also planning to launch in the UK in September.

CEO Phil Reardon joked that he was more concerned about the English football team's loss to Iceland this week than he was about the effects of Brexit on Schoolzine's expansion plans.

"We can't see any reason why it will affect us," he said.

"We have a UK manager now and in September we'll be launching."

Mr Reardon said he couldn't wait to get into the UK market, where schools and childcare centres where geographically so close together compared to in Australia.

"The access we'll have to markets in the UK is really quite exciting," he said.

He said he was confident UK schools and childcare centres would snap up Schoolzine's overnight newsletter production service, which allowed copy to be submitted by 4pm for publication before schools opened the following day.

He said the biggest negative of the British vote to exit the European Union was his 18-year-old son Mackenzie would no longer qualify for a European passport.

Meanwhile, analysts predict the Australian tourism sector could be in for a rocky ride, as British tourists realise the drop in value of the British pound means they get less bang for their buck overseas.

In the week before the Brexit vote, a British holidaymaker with GBP$1000 saved could get up to US$1501 for their money. On Tuesday, after Brexit, they would get just US$1318.

With the pound rebounding however, GBP$1000 today buys US$1344 and AUD$1801.

Tourism Noosa chief Damien Massingham disputed the claim that inbound visitation numbers would drop on the Sunshine Coast.

"I'm no expert but I think around Australia and there's a lot of media hype about the vote that happened, but even if it (Brexit) does happen it's not going to affect the travelling patterns of the UK," he said.

"The bottom line is the world goes on and people still have holidays."

He said "bumps" in visitation numbers are inevitable over time, adding that UK travel agency representatives who visited Noosa while the Brexit vote was cast did not show lessening interest in the region.

The UK is Noosa's most important international market, with more UK visitors than any other country, Mr Massingham said.

"Yes there'll be bumps, whether it's with Brexit or other speed humps," he said.

"The way you ride that out is to stay in the market for a long time.

"I'm very confident you'll continue to see good trade out of the UK and European markets."

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