Monday 21 October 2019

Emergency fund for businesses 'will help us get over Brexit shock'


Praise: Export business chief John Greene welcomes the ‘rainy day’ fund. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney
Praise: Export business chief John Greene welcomes the ‘rainy day’ fund. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

THE managing director of an export business has praised the emergency fund put in place for businesses which are likely to be affected in the case of a hard Brexit.

John Greene, of Diamond Freight Services in Farmers Cross, Cork, said his business will be forced to absorb tariffs and labour costs associated with Britain leaving the single market - as he refuses to hike prices for customers.

The 65-year-old praised funding to ensure businesses affected by Brexit have some safety net for their reduced income.

"Brexit is going to have a huge effect on our company. It's hard to prepare for it," he said. "The cost would fall on us, we'll just have to absorb the costs. We'll be adding to the costs because we'll have higher fees for processing new declarations, so we'll have found some way to help customers overcome the shock.

"We might have to reduce our fees by 40pc or 50pc. We're just doing it off our own bat because we're well-run and profitable.

"With our existing customers we'll have to reduce the cost to the UK, while the international fees will cost the same."

Diamond Freight is an air-shipping service which rents space on planes from Cork and ships computers, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and hardware internationally for the likes of Apple, and Dell EMC.

The Government is allocating more than €1.2bn, excluding EU funding, to respond to Brexit in a two-part package that will see €200m invested immediately next year and the rest saved in case of a no-deal Brexit.

A further €365m will also go for extra social protection if unemployment rises as a result of a no-deal Brexit.

"I think they have to have a rainy day or emergency fund to get the businesses over the initial shock anyway, because it's all a matter of adjustment, and it will adjust but there will be an initial shock," said Mr Greene.

Irish Independent

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