Demand for InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Planning vouchers has surged in recent months, with a third of all applications for the scheme, launched in May 2017, coming since the start of this year.
In response to the increase, InterTradeIreland has unveiled details of an enhanced Brexit Advisory Service, where businesses can secure up to £4,500 of funding, as well as benefit from a new bespoke on-line learning tool focused on practical help to prepare for Brexit.
As part of the enhanced support package, InterTradeIreland has developed a tailor-made online learning tool. It is designed to help cross-border traders understand customs requirements, in terms of moving goods and services cross-border with step-by-step guides. This service also provides information on the impact of Brexit on employers and employees. Available at intertradeireland.com/brexit/ , it is business friendly, free and available to multiple users within a company.
Given the heightened exposure of small cross-border traders to Brexit, Aidan Gough, InterTradeIreland Designated Officer, warned against complacency and encouraged SMEs to secure support: “Over 11,000, largely small businesses in Northern Ireland, trade across the border. To assist them, we have enhanced our support package by adding a new element to our voucher funding which is focused on implementing plans to mitigate risk and chase opportunity.
“We have also developed a new interactive, on-line learning resource focused on the most pressing issues around Brexit raised by SMEs in their engagement with us. It is aimed at busy cross-border traders and makes high-quality, concise information available to them in their own time, in an accessible way.
“As we move closer to the March 29th deadline, the message is that it’s still not too late to make preparations. Through free, impartial, independent and up-to-date Brexit-related advice, alongside funding support, we are focused on helping as many SMEs as possible to prepare for whatever way Brexit ultimately evolves.”
Cross-border traders can now avail of two vouchers from InterTradeIreland. The first provides 100 per cent financial support up to £2,000 (inclusive of VAT) towards professional advice to help businesses understand what exposure they have in relation to Brexit. This includes issues such as customs requirements and supply chain exposure, VAT and financial implications, as well as understanding complex tariff codes.
The second voucher – the new Brexit Implementation voucher – provides financial support up to £5,000, with InterTradeIreland paying 50 per cent. This voucher will allow businesses to implement critical changes identified in the stage one process; making them better prepared to deal with a new trading relationship.