06 Nov 2019 | 09.47 am
Businesses Step Up Brexit Preparations
InterTradeIreland's Q3 business survey shows more Brexit preparation but also highlighted that many mico-businesses are struggling to make a profit
06 Nov 2019 | 09.47 am
Brexit remains a worry for businesses across Ireland, according to InterTradeIreland’s third-quarter all-island business monitor.
The agency’s survey of more than 750 business managers across Northern Ireland and Ireland revealed that nearly four in ten say Brexit is having a negative impact on their business – double the number affected by Brexit in last year’s Q3 survey.
The number of businesses implementing Brexit preparation plans is also increasing, according to InterTradeIreland’s research.
It found that 28% of cross-border traders have taken mitigating Brexit action, particularly in areas such as supply chain (51%), contracts (46%) and cashflow (50%).
More generally, the Q3 business monitor found that just under half of companies surveyed reported growth, while a similar amount reported being stable.
InterTradeIreland warned that its survey highlighted some worrying trends elsewhere. Nearly three in 10 micro-businesses claimed to be just breaking even at best, while the outlook for construction has softened, with one in four companies experiencing a decrease in sales this quarter.
Commenting on the Q3 survey, InterTradeIreland’s Aidan Gough said that his agency was concerned by the rising negative impact of Brexit but reassured by evidence of more Brexit preparation taking place.
“Although Brexit remains the single biggest challenge facing businesses we would also draw businesses attention to the challenges and opportunities of new technology,” Gough continued.
“Our latest survey shows that 70% of businesses across the island do not think that changes in digital technology will have an impact on their business in the next 12 months. This is despite the fact 16% have already upgraded to new smarter technologies over the past year, while a further 16% intend to do so over the next year.
“While not losing sight of the elephant in the room that is Brexit, InterTradeIreland is also focused on helping SMEs innovate and prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the future.”
Photo: Aidan Gough, InterTradeIreland’s designated officer and director of strategy and policy