Is your Business Exposed to Brexit?

Is your Business Exposed to Brexit?

Brexit poses a significant threat to the Irish economy and to SME sector in particular, due to our high trade intensity with the UK. The negative impacts associated with Brexit could adversely have knock-on effects on Irish production and ultimately on the economy as a whole. Owner/managers need to undertake an individual risk assessment for their own business and prepare to take action to mitigate against changes in financial and currency management, sourcing arrangements, customs, transport and logistics. To assist in this process, the Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny is offering a one-to-one Brexit Advisory Clinic for businesses based in Kilkenny to undertake a risk assessment.

In a study commission by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, it reported that approx 15% of Irish exports are accounted for in the UK market. In fact in some sectors such as agri-food the figure is closer to 40%. In relation to imports, the UK market also accounts for approximately 26% of total Irish goods imported, signifying that the country is still very dependent on its nearest neighbour.

However, a more concerning factor is the UK land connection issue.  In terms of trade with other markets, Irish businesses tend to transport the majority of the goods via the UK to access other markets due to the efficiency and speed.  The impacts of Brexit may lead to border procedures which would be costly and time-consuming as the alternative slower sea routes at present do not have sufficient capacity to deal with the volumes.

Brexit also poses possible opportunities for businesses as customers in other markets currently served by UK suppliers will be seeking alternative cheaper sources. Also the advantage of being the only English speaking country in the EU, apart from Malta also presents opportunities further afield. 

Fiona Deegan, Acting Head of Enterprise Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny advises that “While the negotiations are still ongoing and the final outcome is unclear; there will be cost implications for Irish businesses in any scenario”. She added “Therefore, it is necessary for owner manager to protect their businesses against the impact of Brexit and to prepare an action plan to mitigate against the threats posed”.

The Local Enterprise Office will host their one –to-one Brexit Advisory Clinic on Friday 16th November at their office, 42 Parliament Street, Kilkenny. Limited places are available – online booking is available or by contacting the office directly 056-7752662.