As the Government negotiates for the best possible outcome from Brexit negotiations, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) is working to build stronger businesses and get them Brexit ready.
It is always the right time to do the right thing and the Department is helping firms of all sizes – SMEs to multinationals – to compete, innovate and trade in the face of Brexit and beyond.
Below are the specific Brexit supports available to businesses; for the full range of supports available to SMEs, please see Supporting SMEs – which support is for you?
Brexit Finance and Supports
Government Departments, enterprise agencies and regulatory bodies have a range of advisory supports, toolkits and financial supports available to help your business navigate its way through Brexit impacts and to Prepare for Brexit. With just months to go to the UK withdrawal from the European Union, understanding the potential implications is a key first step in developing your Brexit contingency plan. Below is a summary of supports and resources available to get your business Brexit Ready.
Starting to Plan
For businesses that need external support in planning for Brexit, Enterprise Ireland offers up to €5,000 to assist client companies develop a plan through its Be Prepared Grant.
InterTrade Ireland provides ‘Start to Plan’ vouchers to enable SMEs to get professional advice on Brexit, including likely tariffs, currency management, regulatory and customs issues and movement of labour, goods and services.
Starting to Innovate, Change or Adapt
In March 2018, the Government launched a new €300 million Brexit Loan Scheme for eligible businesses with up to 499 employees. Loan amounts range from €25,000 up to €1.5m, for terms of up to three years and a maximum interest rate of 4%.
Enterprise Ireland supports businesses who wish to innovate, change or adapt in a number of areas, for example, to research viable and sustainable new market entry strategies through its EI Market Discovery Fund.
The 31 Local Enterprise Offices offer financial supports in a number of areas, for example, Technical Assistance for Micro-Exporters (TAME). This provides financial assistance to support market diversification in qualifying businesses to develop new and export market opportunities.
Advice and Guidance
Starting to Plan
Any business can quickly self-diagnose whether they are ready for Brexit using the Enterprise Ireland Brexit Scorecard. The Brexit Scorecard is a first step in developing a robust Brexit plan. It will help to stimulate thinking about the key areas that may be impacted in your business and to self-assess your level of preparedness.
If you work in food, drink or horticulture, you can also use Bord Bia’s Brexit Barometer. It is designed to help businesses assess their readiness for Brexit and also provides information on supply chain, currency, customs and international market diversification opportunities.
If you work in tourism and hospitality, Fáilte Ireland’s Brexit Response Programme is designed to help Irish tourism businesses spread the risk by diversifying their source markets and to enhance their skill capabilities across a wide range of business functions. Fáilte Ireland offers a suite of supports including an online knowledge hub and a Brexit Readiness Check to assess risks and to respond to an evolving business environment.
Once you’ve assessed your exposure there are a range of awareness sessions and Advisory Clinics being convened by Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland and your Local Enterprise Offices to provide information and support to companies all around the country on actions to take. The key focus of advisory clinics are Financial and Currency Management, Strategic Sourcing and Customs, Transport and Logistics.
- There are 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide and they are running a Brexit Mentor Programme: to support Business Owner/Managers to identify key Brexit exposures and develop robust strategies to address issues and maximise potential opportunities.
- Enterprise Ireland has been running a number of EI Brexit Advisory Clinics across the country offering information and practical support to companies.
- InterTrade Ireland provides a ITI Brexit Advisory Service to help businesses with practical advice, support and information on Brexit related issues.
IDA Ireland meanwhile offers support to client companies as they grow and diversify their Irish footprint. The IDA offers practical assistance, such as information and advice on Brexit risks and opportunities, and financial assistance across R&D, training, employment and capital investment.
Preparing for new Customs Arrangements
In addition to the advice about changes in customs arrangements which is offered (above) through Bord Bia, InterTrade Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices, information relating to Customs formalities is available on the Revenue website.
Preparing for changes in Legislation and Standards
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) provides a support service for Irish chemical companies and SMEs on meeting legislative duties and ensuring they can source chemicals and sell in the EU. In addition the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) which is part of the HSA can offer advice on accreditation matters.
The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) provides advice on how best to ensure businesses are certified to appropriate standards to access markets.
Advice to businesses from Europe
Considerable efforts are underway to ensure that an agreement is reached between the EU and UK that will minimise any disruption caused by the UK’s withdrawal.
However, to assist stakeholders to understand the potential impact of Brexit, the European Commission has prepared a set of over 80 documents called “Preparedness Notices” that explain a wide range of effects that Brexit may have if no agreement is reached between the two sides.
DBEI encourages firms to consult the European Commission’s website to review the Notices and consider relevant actions that may be required to mitigate any potential negative impacts that may arise for them in terms of Brexit.
For further information on the research that is helping to shape the Government’s negotiating position: Brexit Research
If you wish to print the above information, please see our Building Stronger Business - Getting Brexit Ready brochure.