Firms step up Brexit supply preparations
Irish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have increasingly been preparing for Brexit by establishing new supply sources for goods, while negotiating new agreements with buyers and suppliers, according to research.
The SME Ireland Confidence Tracker for the third quarter of 2019, published by Bibby Financial Services Ireland, found that 38pc of SMEs say they have established new supply sources, while 32pc have negotiated new agreements with buyers and suppliers.
One third say they have applied for some form of business funding in the past six months.
However, the survey also indicates that, while almost two thirds (64pc) of Irish SMEs believe Brexit will have a negative impact on their business, a third of companies have not prepared for it in any way.
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The report's findings also suggest that there has been a significant drop in confidence in the Irish SME sector over the past 12 months.
For example, the average planned investment of €80,000 for the next three months represents a 40pc dip when compared with the same period of 2018.
In addition, less than half of all SMEs surveyed expect sales to increase over the next three months.
Half of the SMEs which do not intend to invest blamed the uncertainty arising from the UK's exit from the European Union, while 45pc also pointed to an uncertain economic environment within Ireland.
More than a third (35pc) of SMEs suffered a bad debt over the previous 12 months, with the construction and transport sectors most likely to have been affected.
The tracker is a national survey of more than 200 small and medium-sized businesses.
Sunday Indo Business