Belfast Telegraph

InterTradeIreland encourages SMEs to plan for Brexit with free half day event

As Brexit negotiations take place now is the time for firms to ensure they have plans in place to prepare for the changes that it may bring.

InterTradeIreland’s latest Business Monitor has highlighted 98 per cent of local companies have no current plans in place for Brexit and the organisation is encouraging firms to plan, act and engage now. 

Following the establishment of a dedicated Brexit Advisory Service in May, the body is hosting a flagship Brexit-focused event, ‘All Fact. No Noise. Practical Help to Plan for Brexit’, on Tuesday October 24 at Titanic Belfast from 7.30am-2.00pm. 

There is still time to register for the free half-day event hosted by the BBC’s Mark Simpson, featuring Dr Vincent Power, a partner at A&L Goodbody in Dublin, and an expert in EU law who will draw delegates attention to the key things they should be looking at as negotiations proceed.

Attendees will benefit from practical workshops on the potential impact of changes in areas such as Rules of Origin; taxation, VAT, human resources and customs, as well as panel discussions featuring Northern Ireland businesses that have started planning for Brexit.

Renowned international business speaker, David Meade, will also deliver a keynote address on tackling challenges such as Brexit with a positive mind-set.

Ken Nelson, Chairman of InterTradeIreland, said: “Our latest All-Island Business Monitor highlights 98 per cent of local companies have no plans in place for Brexit and we’re committed to offering firms practical support to start preparing. Brexit will become a reality and now is the time for firms to prepare for different scenarios that might emerge.”

Ken Nelson Chairman.jpg
Pictured: Ken Nelson

InterTradeIreland launched its Brexit Advisory Service in May 2017. This bespoke service offers help and assistance for SMEs including a £2,000 Brexit Start Planning Voucher, which allows individual firms to work with an approved panel of experts to devise a tailored action plan. 

As well as advice on topics surrounding Brexit such as currency hedging and information on cross-border supply chains, InterTradeIreland has developed a comprehensive database of all goods traded cross-border on the island of Ireland. This covers thousands of individual product categories, and businesses can access information on possible tariffs for products, should certain customs duties be introduced.

“While businesses may have experienced minimal impact due to the impending Brexit at this point, this may not always be the case and companies need to be prepared. At the event, InterTradeIreland will be discussing our recent World Trade Organisation tariff report findings, highlighting the importance of contingency planning for firms on both sides of the border to prepare for any barriers to exporting.

“We appreciate that the lack of clarity around Brexit is complicating planning efforts, with our latest Business Monitor highlighting uncertainty is making it difficult for more than three quarters of local businesses to plan.  However, now is the time for firms to take the steps to make sure they are ready for Brexit and we are already seeing a marked increase of companies actively seeking guidance on Brexit matters.

“Planning for Brexit is a complex process with the potential for many repercussions so InterTradeIreland has devised content to suit all businesses no matter what stage they are at with their Brexit plans.  I would encourage local SMEs and stakeholders to find out about how InterTradeIreland can help their Brexit planning and sign up for this free event,” Ken added.

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