Plan Now for Brexit

1st June 2017

Posted In: FYI

A dedicated InterTradeIreland advice service aimed at helping SMEs navigate the challenges of Brexit was unveiled earlier this month by Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Businesses will be able to access a raft of supports from the Brexit Advisory Service, including Brexit Readiness Vouchers, which they can use to fund bespoke advice up the value of one thousand Euro; free Brexit briefing events; information on currency hedging and a five minute mini-masterclass designed to help business become Brexit savvy.

InterTradeIreland has developed a comprehensive database of all goods traded cross-border on the island of Ireland, covering thousands of individual product categories, and information on what the possible tariffs could be on these products if certain customs duties were to be introduced.

Recent research conducted by InterTradeIreland revealed 98 per cent of companies have no plan in place to deal with the consequences of Brexit, with 91 per cent of cross-border traders having no experience of dealing with tariffs. Over half of businesses engaged in cross-border sales said they were concerned about currency exchange rate fluctuations.

InterTradeIreland has hosted five Brexit briefing events across the island since November 2016, supporting around 300 businesses with tailored advice.

Thomas Hunter McGowan, InterTradeIreland CEO, said: “Our initial tranche of events has demonstrated the huge appetite which exists among SMEs for help preparing for Brexit. The Brexit Advisory Service has been specifically tailored to the needs of SMEs and the supports we have developed are based on the feedback we have gleaned from companies at events across the country.

“While there are current uncertainties, it’s important that businesses are aware of how much they can do now to realise their growth ambitions as Ireland’s new trading relationships with the UK emerges. Vitally, we are encouraging companies to continue pursuing an export growth strategy. Businesses that export, including those that trade across the border, are three times more likely to be growing. Our new service aims to spur and support businesses to Plan, Analyse and Act to put themselves in the best possible position to deal with the new cross-border trading relationship as it emerges and to continue to grow cross-border trade.”

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 Pictured (R-L): Mary Mitchell O’Connor, with InterTradeIreland’s Margaret Hearty, Aidan Gough and Thomas Hunter McGowan.