Business Brexit

Thursday 19 September 2019

Just 17pc of Irish SMEs 'prepared for Brexit'

Risks: KPMG partner Olivia Lynch has warned over SMEs’ plans
Risks: KPMG partner Olivia Lynch has warned over SMEs’ plans
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

FEWER than one in five businesses owned by entrepreneurs in the Republic of Ireland have carried out a full Brexit analysis, according to a new survey.

With 64 days until the UK is due to leave the European Union, and a hard Brexit looking increasingly likely, a survey carried out by Red C on behalf of consultancy firm KPMG found that only 17pc of such companies have done a comprehensive Brexit study.

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This is despite the fact that two in three of these firms express concerns that the UK's exit from the EU will harm their business.

Olivia Lynch, partner at KPMG Private Enterprise, said Irish firms' engagement with the risks of Brexit needs to improve significantly for these small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to survive. "We would have some SMEs that wouldn't be fully aware of all their UK trading touch points," she said.

"You clearly know when you are exporting a service or a good. But interrogation of your full supply chain and getting comfortable on the continuity of that supply chain post-Brexit are the type of nuances or complexities that some businesses just haven't got into."

"Your supply chain can be much broader than your product chain," she added, calling this "a big risk".

Red C surveyed 200 firms from sectors featuring high levels of entrepreneur ownership, including medical devices, pharma, chemicals and bio-technical manufacturing, engineering, electronics, food and drink, ICT and renewable energy.

The survey also found that the vast majority of firms planning to expand will use their own capital or a bank loan.

The small number of businesses that plan to tap peer-to-peer lending for expansion reflects a lack of understanding among smaller firms of the wealth of sources of funds in the market, Ms Lynch said.

Irish Independent

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