14th October 2020
Today Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD, convened a meeting with InterTradeIreland (ITI) to discuss the challenges to trade posed by Brexit, COVID-19 and to hear about the supports ITI is delivering to small businesses in Ireland and Northern Ireland to explore new cross-border markets.
The meeting which was held over video conference with Aidan Gough, Acting CEO and the senior leadership team of ITI, comes at an important time for the body who have faced increased demand for their supports and advisory services from SMEs, as the deadline for Brexit rapidly approaches.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Troy said:
Cross border collaboration is of great benefit to businesses North and South. InterTradeIreland is providing vital supports to small businesses grappling with the challenges of Brexit. The funding announced in yesterday’s Budget of an increased allocation of €675,000 to ITI will enhance the services it provides to businesses on both sides of the border.
While Brexit has been a major focus of its work, I was encouraged to hear how ITI has also been assisting businesses affected by COVID-19, including through the introduction of two new programmes that aim to help affected firms weather the commercial impact of the pandemic. With the resumption of the North-South Ministerial Council this summer chaired by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, I look forward to future progress and increased opportunities for cross-border trading.”
Notes to Editor
InterTradeIreland (ITI) is a cross-border body established under the Good Friday Agreement. It has been helping 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.
Based in Newry, Co. Down and with 40 staff, services include supports for sales growth and innovation, business funding and business insights to SMEs across the island, North and South, looking to grow their businesses. Through ITI’s enhanced Brexit Advisory Service, it also helps firms to prepare for Brexit through a range of supports and services suited to all businesses, whatever stage they are at with their Brexit plans.
As one of the cross-border bodies, InterTradeIreland, the Cross-Border Trade and Business Development Body, is funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland (DBEI) and the Department for the Economy (DFE) in Northern Ireland.
InterTradeIreland has seen the demand for its supports and services surge since the Brexit referendum. It established a Brexit Advisory Service in May 2017 to assist companies, both North and South, prepare and plan for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Thousands of SMEs have engaged with this service over the last three years and ITI has run a series of awareness-raising events to help improve knowledge of customs processes and procedures, as well as identifying actions businesses can take in areas like logistics and supply chain management.
InterTradeIreland also offers Brexit Planning Vouchers worth up to €2,250 each to enable eligible businesses to seek professional advice on how best to plan and prepare for Brexit.
InterTradeIreland is also helping SMEs deal with the fallout from Covid-19. Increased State funding has enabled ITI to launch two initiatives aimed at helping SMEs, E-Merge and Emergency Business Solutions.
The E-Merge programme provides consultancy support to assist companies develop online sales and eCommerce solutions to the value of €2,800. The scheme is open to cross-border enterprises, registered on the island of Ireland, and is involved in manufacturing or tradable services.
The Emergency Business Solutions scheme allows eligible companies to avail of professional advice, to the value of €2,250, to address business challenges arising from the pandemic. Eligible companies are cross-border in nature and involved in manufacturing and tradable services. Businesses can avail of advice in relation to matters such as emergency cash flow, completion of lending applications for loan supports, or in relation to diversifying products or services.
Back to Department News