InterTradeIreland has released the results of a new survey which shows that just one in 10 small businesses (11%) across Northern Ireland and Eire have made preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The survey by InterTradeIreland, which is based in Newry, Northern Ireland, found that only 35% of larger businesses have plans in place to manage the consequences of a no-deal result.
Of those businesses which have cross-border business, 82% have failed to address the potential consequences of a no-deal outcome.
According to the research, only 14% have examined the impact of any new customs regulations, while 12% have looked at possible tariffs.
Aidan Gough, InterTradeIreland’s designated officer and director of strategy and policy, said: “The disparity between businesses recognising Brexit as the key issue facing them and the number actually preparing for it remains a worry.
“While we appreciate the uncertainty facing businesses and the constant challenge to win new and service existing orders, we nevertheless implore firms, particularly those that trade across the border, to make themselves aware of the issues that Brexit could pose for their operations and to explore mitigating options.”
InterTradeIreland says that the business environment remains ‘resilient’, and 40% of companies across the island are reporting growth.
This is countered by the number of businesses expecting additional growth over the next 12 months being at 2009 levels, with that date falling directly after the financial crash.
Gough continued: “Don’t leave it until the last minute. There are lots of small steps that businesses can begin to take now to prepare, whatever the outcome. It doesn’t have to be onerous. Planning is never wasted and is much preferable to panic if left undone.”
The survey responses were collected from 750 business managers across Northern Ireland and Ireland.
InterTradeIreland is a specialist firm helping small businesses in Ireland and Northern Ireland explore cross-border markets, with services including business funding and related business insight.