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Minister Humphreys welcomes increase in numbers of businesses preparing for Brexit and urges others to start planning

Sep 28, 2018
A new survey shows that 44% of businesses that are strongly impacted by Brexit have a plan in place. With a sample size of 546 SMEs, the survey is the third in a series on the impact of Brexit on small business owners, carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

The results follow recent surveys of clients of Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia, which show that 85% of Enterprise Ireland clients have taken Brexit actions and 74% of Bord Bia clients have made progress in preparing for Brexit.

Welcoming the survey findings Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said: "This latest survey shows a marked increase in the number of impacted businesses preparing for change, which is both encouraging and welcome. With six months to go to Brexit, many businesses are taking the first important steps of gathering information and developing contingency plans. Many others are already taking actions with their suppliers and customers to build resilience, whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

"Without a doubt, the figures are going in the right direction but we need to see acceleration in contingency planning in the coming months. Notwithstanding the uncertainty that comes with Brexit, it is crucial that affected businesses without a plan urgently put one in place. The Government is negotiating for the best but preparing for the worst, and I would urge businesses to do the same."

28% of all businesses surveyed report having a Brexit plan in place, an increase compared to the previous survey in September 2017 when the figure stood at 16%. This 28% figure increases for those businesses where the impact is the greatest: 41% of medium sized businesses; 39% for businesses with imports or exports from the UK; 44% for those businesses who say they are most impacted (up from 17% in the previous survey). 56% of SMEs are responding that Brexit is not impacting on their business, compared 48% in the last survey.

Brexit awareness is also on the rise. 42% of those surveyed have engaged with some form of Brexit information resources. This includes engaging with their business representative bodies, attending a Brexit roadshow or information session or availing of Brexit supports provided by State bodies. 13% have taken some mitigating action to address their Brexit challenges, which includes changing the source of raw materials and market diversification.

Source: Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation.