In this week's blog, we look at preparations necessary for the end of the UK's Brexit transition period, highlighting some of the support schemes and programmes uniquely on offer to Irish businesses to help them make any last-minute preparations.
Every business is facing its own unique set of circumstances when it comes to Brexit; there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, most Irish businesses are preparing for a number of shared concerns as Brexit approaches, including supply chain considerations, personnel issues, and new administrative burdens at the border.
The Irish Government has made clear that it does not expect businesses to face these challenges alone. With less than two months to go, businesses can still access a number of government support schemes — including financial support — to ensure they are well-positioned for 2021.
Brexit Planning Voucher and Brexit Implementation Voucher
These schemes include the Brexit Planning and Implementation Voucher schemes for SMEs, being overseen by Irish government body InterTradeIreland.
Through the Brexit Planning Voucher scheme, businesses can have the cost of receiving advice completely subsidised by the government up to €2,250.
Through these vouchers, businesses can obtain free advice on customs issues, on the impact of tariff changes and currency fluctuations, on regulatory matters relating to the movement of goods and the provision of services, and on labour issues.
Thereafter, the Implementation Voucher scheme provides 50% financial support on eligible business costs up to €5,625, to help the business to adapt.
Options for Finance
The Irish Government is also seeking to ensure that businesses have access to finance. Government-subsidised "Brexit loans" are being offered by AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, worth between €25,000 and €1.5m, with a maximum interest rate of 4%.
For micro businesses, funding is available through the government-supported body Microfinance Ireland.
Local Enterprise Offices
Between now and the end of the year, Ireland's 31 Local Enterprise Offices are running Brexit-themed workshops and dedicated events, to help businesses anticipate Brexit impacts, as well as customs training and one-to-one mentoring.
The Irish Government has recommended that businesses ensure they are prepared against eight key areas:
- Supply chains and UK market strategy;
- Understanding the new rules for importing and exporting to the UK;
- Impacts on transport and logistics;
- Regulation, licensing and certification requirements;
- Contract reviews and data management;
- Cash flow, currency, and banking;
- Visas, professional qualifications, and licenses to practise; and
- Understanding the impact on their industry sector.
Our experts are well-versed in providing support to businesses in these areas in response to Brexit and can help your Irish venture to prepare for January 1.
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