4th March 2019
InterTradeIreland unveils enhanced range of support to prepare for Brexit – new funding and on-line learning for businesses
Over a third of all applications for Brexit Planning voucher received in the last quarter
Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation has called on businesses to act now to prepare for Brexit at the launch of InterTradeIreland’s enhanced Brexit supports in Monaghan today.
Given the heightened exposure of small cross-border traders to Brexit, Minister Humphreys warned against complacency and encouraged SMEs to secure support.
The event saw Minister Humphreys announce details of the extended package of support InterTradeIreland now offers and revealed a recent surge in applications for Brexit vouchers.
Businesses involved in cross-border trade can now avail of two vouchers from InterTradeIreland. The first provides 100 per cent financial support up to €2,250 (inclusive of VAT) towards professional advice to help businesses understand what exposure they have in relation to Brexit.
This includes issues such as customs requirements and supply chain exposure, VAT and financial implications, as well as understanding complex tariff codes. Demand for Brexit Planning vouchers has increased massively in recent months, with 30 per cent of all applications since the launch of the voucher in 2017 received in the last quarter.
The second voucher – the new Brexit Implementation voucher – provides financial support up to €5,625, with InterTradeIreland paying 50 per cent. This voucher will allow businesses to implement critical changes identified in the stage one process – making them better prepared to deal with a new trading relationship.
As part of the enhanced support package, InterTradeIreland has also developed a tailor-made on-line learning tool designed to help cross-border traders understand customs requirements, in terms of moving goods and services cross-border. It is business friendly, free and accessible to multiple users within a company.
Encouraging further uptake of the Brexit supports, Minister Heather Humphreys, TD said: “I’m very pleased to be launching InterTradeIreland’s new enhanced financial supports and online resources as our cross-border traders prepare for Brexit. These innovative, accessible tools and associated funding will help businesses deal with the complexities surrounding Brexit.
“We all know that Brexit has created real commercial and political uncertainty. We can, however, be clear that it’s not too late to start planning for the future, so businesses can be prepared: prepared to speak to, and answer questions from their staff, supply chain and customers; and prepared to build extra resilience into their business. That is why I would urge SMEs to be proactive and to take advantage of the full range of Brexit supports available from InterTradeIreland and other State bodies.”
Speaking about the Brexit Advisory Service, Aidan Gough, InterTradeIreland Designated Officer, said: “Through our research and engagement with cross-border traders we recognise the acute challenges they face as they come to terms with Brexit in the face of many other competitive challenges.
“Our financial support will be enhanced by the development of a new interactive, on-line learning resource focused on the most pressing issues around Brexit raised by SMEs in their engagement with us. It is aimed at busy cross-border traders and makes high-quality, concise information available to them in their own time, in an accessible way.
“As we move closer to the March 29th deadline, the message is that it’s still not too late to make preparations. Through free, impartial, independent and up-to-date Brexit-related advice, alongside funding support, we are focused on helping as many SMEs as possible to prepare for whatever way Brexit ultimately evolves.”
To date there have been 1,139 applications from SME business for InterTradeIreland’s Brexit ‘Start to Plan’ vouchers. The yearly breakdown is 2017 – 166 applications; 2018 – 653 applications and 2019 (to date) 320.
- InterTradeIreland has helped small businesses in Ireland and Northern Ireland explore new cross-border markets, develop new products, processes and services and become investor ready over the last 20 years.
- Our services include supports for sales growth and innovation, business funding and business insights to SMEs across the island seeking to grow their businesses.
- With the launch or our Brexit Advisory Service in May 2017, InterTradeIreland also helps companies to prepare for the British Exit from the EU through a range of supports and services suited to all businesses no matter what stage they are at with their Brexit plans.
- To date over 39,000 small businesses have been supported by InterTradeIreland to identify and develop all-island trade and innovation opportunities.
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