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Brexit 'has had impact' on one-third of Irish firms

By John Mulgrew

More than a year after the vote for Brexit, just 2% of businesses across Ireland say they have a plan in place to deal with the UK's exit from the EU.

Around one-third of exporting companies from Northern Ireland and the Republic said they have experienced a negative impact since the vote in June 2016, according to the latest InterTradeIreland Business Monitor Report for April to June.

And more than three-quarters of exporters said uncertainty is making it difficult to plan for the future. However, 76% of firms said the Brexit vote has not had an impact on business.

The survey showed firms are now starting to "seek more guidance on Brexit matters with more than one-third of businesses with cross-border sales" saying they would welcome additional one-to-one support.

More than half of businesses said they are now "stable", which is the highest figure since 2011.

Aidan Gough, strategy and policy director at InterTradeIreland, said the "stability experienced in the last quarter is encouraging and it's essential that firms take advantage of this to plan their next steps".

"A steady environment can provide 'thinking time' and it's important businesses use this opportunity to begin to research, compile and initiate plans that will ensure they remain resilient beyond Brexit," he said.

"Our message is clear - while we recognise the pressures facing small businesses, particularly as owners can be focussed on the here-and-now, there is, nevertheless, a window of opportunity.

"This must now be grasped to prepare for the challenges and indeed the opportunities that will be presented by any new cross-border trade arrangements which may emerge over the coming years."

Belfast Telegraph

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