Forget The Brexit Noise And Start To Plan

18 May 2018 | 09.57 am

Forget The Brexit Noise And Start To Plan

InterTradeIreland Brexit supports for business can get you going

18 May 2018 | 09.57 am

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At InterTradeIreland, we know that businesses are holding back on planning for Brexit, in part because of the uncertainty but also because of the often conflicting messages about Brexit and what it will mean. There is plenty that businesses can do now to start their preparations

At the minute, we know that in December 2020, the UK is due to leave the EU customs union and single market. Businesses should use this intervening time wisely to plan. We don’t know what the final deal will look like, but we do know what changes are possible, and a business can assess how exposed it is to different scenarios. The area of disruption to supply chains is one such scenario.

InterTradeIreland’s latest research shows that the majority cross-border trade is in intermediate goods. It is important to prepare so that disruption to these vital business supply chains are kept to a minimum.

Yes, there is still uncertainty, but there is also plenty that businesses can do now to start their preparations.

1. Plan

Start to consider how your business would be impacted by changes in your supply chains, market access, access to staff and changing financial obligations. What are your biggest areas of exposure to risk? Do you have the information and knowledge you need to do this?

There is free help available if you need it at this planning stage. Contact InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Advisory Service and ask about our €2,000 funding for professional, one-on-one advice.

2. Act

If your planning has revealed areas of high risk, such as additional logistics costs or new administrative obligations, then consider:
• Building margins steadily between now and December 2020 to offset future costs of changing to the new arrangements.
• Innovations that may reduce your overall costs now and in the future.
• Developing the capabilities that your business will need in the future.
• Adding value to your existing supplier, customer and employee relationships.
• Keeping up to speed and engaging with peers at seminars and industry events.

3. Engage

It’s important to realise that it’s not just your business going through this process, and that there is plenty of help and advice available. If you’re an SME, discover the help that InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Advisory Service can offer. We offer €2,000 Start to Plan funding, a host of Brexit-focused informative events, and the latest research and news on our Brexit web pages.

There are others that can help you too, so make sure you engage with your customers and suppliers, your employees, development agencies, politicians, trade bodies and finance providers.

At Mastek in Cootehill, Co. Cavan, one of its biggest issues is that all its equipment is located across the border in Northern Ireland. “What happens to lorries going across the border after Brexit?” asks director Paul Quinn. “A lot of questions we would have would be in relation to customs and duties.”

For Ferm Engineering in Co. Donegal, InterTradeIreland funding turned its Brexit planning into an opportunity to invigorate its business. “InterTradeIreland has also helped us the past through the Fusion programme. They are just easy to deal with and they take the complexity out of it,” says director James McCabe.

Mark Sterritt (pictured), Brexit Advisory Service Manager InterTradeIreland, advises: “Start planning and stay engaged. This will keep you informed, prepared and equipped to meet any new challenges in trading across the border post Brexit.”

If you have Brexit questions you would like professional advice on, contact the InterTradeIreland Brexit Advisory Service. www.intertradeireland.com/brexit

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