Q: What support is available for companies and businesses still challenged by Brexit concerns?
A: A recent survey found 98% of firms at Enterprise Ireland's Brexit Advisory Clinics plan to undertake new actions to prepare for the risks and opportunities the historic change presents.
Enterprise Ireland have travelled the country, meeting hundreds of companies to help build and implement Brexit plans. The businesses are in the services and manufacturing sectors. The main concerns that business owners have are around the areas of: 1) financial and currency management, 2) strategic sourcing and customs, 3) transport and logistics, 4) intellectual property and the movement of people.
While the outcome of Brexit negotiations remains unclear, it's likely many businesses will need extra resources to respond to the situation they find their Companies in. Let's consider what assistance is available in Ireland to help SMEs prepare for Brexit?
Now that the first stage of negotiations is complete and progress to Brexit is gathering real momentum, Enterprise Ireland is encouraging companies to be pro-active in their preparations and are running a series of Brexit Advisory Clinics to support this. These clinics are designed to help companies plan and take immediate action to effectively mitigate the risks and avail of the opportunities that Brexit poses, increasing a business's resilience and making practical business sense, irrespective of Brexit.
Enterprise Ireland is encouraging companies to develop their capabilities in 3 specific operational areas:
Financial and Currency Management: Managing a volatile exchange rate and implementing best practice for financial management for SMEs in uncertain times. Ensuring your business is sufficiently protected with insights into the immediate actions you can take.
Strategic Sourcing: What if your key suppliers are not able to supply at current volumes required, increase their costs by 20-30% due to new excise duties or even go out of business tomorrow? Understanding and reviewing your sourcing arrangements to reduce costs, increase efficiency and identify alternative suppliers with better supplier management.
Customs, Transport and Logistics: Implementing more efficient transport and logistics arrangements and preparing for import and export procedures (customs declarations and administration etc.) with the UK if necessary.
These free events are open to all and involve 2 streams of activities running in parallel throughout the day: One to one 40-minute meetings with independent experts in the 3 business areas; 90-minute seminars on each of the 3 business areas. For further information on the clinics, go to www.prepareforBrexit.ie
Other Financial Support available: Enterprise Ireland has worked with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation on introducing a Brexit Loan Scheme, to provide finance that is easier to access, competitively priced and available at more favourable terms than comparable lending. It is delivered through Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and AIB, in conjunction with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland. More info available at: https://sbci.gov.ie/brexit-loan-scheme.
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