NEWRY Chamber of Trade are preparing local businesses for a ‘No Deal’ brexit.
In a message to their members, Colm Shannon, the Chamber’s Chief Executive Officer, outlined the current position before offering advice to businnesses.
“Newry Chamber has been represented at a series of meetings including a stakeholder event hosted by the Head of the NI Civil Service.
“Clearly the politics is very volatile and it looks like the opposition will get their No Deal legislation through by Monday.
“That said, the message I am getting is business should continue to prepare for a No Deal. Planning and preparation for Brexit should continue to be a priority in your business.
“The government has made available funding for Chambers of Commerce to provide additional support, advice and training. I am putting together a bid which, if successful, will allow the Chamber to run some additional courses in the coming weeks.
At present, from a pure documentation point it is as easy to trade with Athenry as it is with Athens. Post-Brexit, whether it is a Deal or No Deal, many businesses will face the additional burden of customs documentation.
If the funding application is successful, one of the courses we plan to run is on customs documentation. In addition to customs, we also plan to run workshops on Tax, VAT and the implications on your cash flow.
Mr Shannon continued:
Many businesses have contingency arrangements in place but if you haven't, here are some areas you should look at:
Movement of Goods: Check will there be any impact on your supply chain. Will you still be able to get your raw materials? Importantly, will your sub-contractors be impacted in anyway?
Product Compliance: Will your products need any new compliance checks before export to the EU? Will these checks impact on your delivery timelines?
Cashflow: Check how VAT is handled or new tariffs might impact on your cashflow.
People: If you provide a "service" across the border(s), have you thought about the mutual recognition of qualifications? Also, what is the status of your EU employees? Have you thought about the impact on your availability of labour?
Retail: If you have an online retail presence, have you thought about tax/tariff issues for cross-border sales? If your shop depends on a significant amount of cross-border trade, you should think about engaging with your customers to reassure them that you will still welcome/value their custom Post-Brexit.
These are just some questions you may want to think about in preparing for Brexit, should the UK leave the EU. If you want some guidance relevant to your business, here is a link to the government's 7 simple questions about preparing your business.
The NI Agricultural Department (DAERA) is running a series of workshops in the coming weeks and is urgently asking companies to register for the workshops. Whether you are a large or small business and are involved in processing fresh food for distribution across the border/EU you should register via:
GET READY FOR BREXIT WORKSHOP
DATE: Tuesday 24th September
TIME: 9am - 12.15pm
VENUE: Armagh City Hotel
There is a range of good information. Some of these include:
InterTradeIreland Brexit Drop-in Event Lunch - Newry Town Hall
The Chamber in partnership with NMDDC, FSB NI and Newry BID is organising the NI Small Business Conference on 19th September in the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre.
At the conclusion of this, there will be a Brexit Advice Session in Newry Town Hall run by InterTradeIreland. Advisers will be on hand to provide one-to-one information to businesses.”