Business organisations join forces for major Brexit event

Firms need to be taking some measures to prepare for Brexit even if the details remain unclear so far
Firms need to be taking some measures to prepare for Brexit even if the details remain unclear so far

As the pressure and confusion around Brexit continues to grow, business organisations are hoping to offer some guidance and reassurance at a unique Brexit one-stop-shop being staged in Belfast later this month.

The Federation of Small Businesses, Institute of Directors, InterTradeIreland, Invest Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry are coming together for the first time to jointly host ‘Practical Advice and Support for Brexit’, at Titanic Belfast on Tuesday 16th April 2019.

The free, half-day event will focus on pragmatic steps businesses can take to prepare the ground for whatever changes Brexit may bring and pulls together a host of information, support and funding under one roof.

Core to the event will be the chance for firms to benefit from one-to-one clinics with a range of experts drawn from subject areas such as customs, logistics, tax, supply chain, data and employment.

“We appreciate the plight of many thousands of small businesses facing key investment decisions in an environment that is rife with uncertainty,” said InterTradeIreland head Aidan Gough.

“Nevertheless, now more than ever, it’s time for our firms to take practical steps. The first step is to fully understand the potential scenarios facing them and assess how these might impact on their business.

“This collaborative approach makes it as easy as possible, for businesses of all sizes and sectors, to access expertise and find out more about the full range of support and financial assistance on offer.”

Donal Durkan, executive director of strategy at Invest NI said: “While negotiations and discussions between the UK Government and the EU continue, it is essential that businesses are fully informed and supported on Brexit scenario planning to ensure they can continue to trade, regardless of the ultimate outcome.

“This joint event... will include the most up-to-date information available, based on the current position at the time, with advice zones on key areas to provide businesses with one-to-one guidance.”

Kirsty McManus, IoD NI national director, said: “Through regularly updated guidance notes, webinars and events that provide an opportunity to engage with those with their finger firmly on the pulse of negotiations, we have helped businesses drill into the details of what Brexit means for them.

“We look forward to joining with them and many others for more valuable lessons at this unique Brexit event.”

Ann McGregor, CEO of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “Our Quarterly Economic Surveys tell us that more and more members are seeking advice on Brexit.

“In fact, the latest survey suggests that around 45% are currently seeking advice on Brexit from a variety of sources across the public and private sectors.

“This event, therefore, provides the perfect platform for businesses to take that important first step towards preparing for all of the potential scenarios facing them.”