As a follow on to our piece on this last year we find companies often ask what supports are out there to prepare for Brexit.
There are a number of loans, grants and training programmes which are on offer and it’s a good idea to take advantage of these to start preparing for Brexit.
These can be summarised as follows:
Intertrade Ireland offers a voucher of up to €2,000 (or £2,000 if applying from Northern Ireland) to help SMEs seeking support and advice in relation to Brexit.
It is important to be mindful of the time frames within which you are required to choose a Service Provider and submit a terms of reference within a month of the voucher being issued.
This money can be used to complete an initial Brexit impact assessment which will provide a guideline for your business for the next year.
Enterprise Ireland – Be Prepared Grant
Enterprise Ireland launched its Brexit SME Scorecard in which SMEs can register to assess their readiness for Brexit.
The Be Prepared Grant offers up to €5,000 to assist in the cost of developing a strategic response to Brexit.
This grant is available to Enterprise Ireland client companies who are directly or indirectly exposed to the UK market.
It is important to bear in mind that you do have to also match the €5,000 being spent but this enables a comprehensive Brexit analysis to be completed.
Enterprise Ireland also offer training and one-to-one workshops which companies are well advised to take advantage of.
Enterprise Ireland – Agile Innovation Fund
Enterprise Ireland launched its Fast Track Agile Innovation Fund to give companies rapid access to innovation funding.
The fund is targeted at companies looking to respond quickly to market opportunities and challenges posed by Brexit, helping companies develop new products, processes and services for new market opportunities and enabling exporters to respond quickly and maximise export performance.
It allows companies access grants of up to €150,000 in support for product, process or service development projects with a total cost of up to €300,000.
Bord Bia run three month workshops for companies to assist them with developing their knowledge of customs and trade in order to expand their business outside of the European Union.
If you are a Bord Bia client we would strongly advise contacting their Brexit team to take advantage of this.
Brexit Loan Scheme
Preparation, innovation and adaptation are key focuses for Irish businesses facing the opportunities and challenges posed by Brexit. Such actions however require working capital.
This has been acknowledged by the Irish Government who announced in October 2017 the implementation of a Brexit Loan Scheme to support Irish businesses and assist them in the preparation of their action plans.
Through this programme the government set aside up to €300 million which is available at competitive rates to SMEs (40% of which are planned to be specifically used to benefit the agri-food sector – acknowledging it as a particularly exposed sector). The scheme excludes farmers and fishermen for whom alternative schemes should be further discussed.
While different conditions will apply, these offerings will benefit:
- Traders and manufacturers
- Companies facing cross border issues
BDO’s key message is to take action now and plan for Brexit with the resources that are available to you.
For further information or to arrange a meeting please contact Carol Lynch.
For more information about the partnership between BDO and Irish Exporters Association, click here.