£/€2,000 support voucher available
InterTradeIreland also provides a £2,000/€2,250 voucher, which is 100 per cent funded, so requires no cash contribution from the business. This funding facilitates a business to either attend a training course to fill a skills gap – such as how to complete basic customs paperwork – or to work on a one-to-one basis with an expert on a Brexit-related issue, like supply chains or trade agreements. This support is proving very popular currently.
As Brexit approaches, a lack of clarity continues to prevail around the subject. It can feel like being asked to play a game, but no-one has explained the rules.This is frustrating for businesses and can lead to inertia. The obvious potential concerns are, what would be the impact if tariffs were introduced?” “Will my competitor be able to gain an advantage by virtue of their location and not by quality of product or service?”
InterTradeIreland's services enable SMEs to identify the biggest challenges and potential opportunities that Brexit may bring. It is often the businesses that tackle issues head-on and use them as a chance to review how they are currently doing things that are quickest to identify opportunities. We supported a business in the food and drink sector that, by identifying the potential worst-case tariff for their existing product range, found a product innovation opportunity to reduce the sugar and fat content,this vastly reduced the worst-case tariff in a WTO scenario. The outcome was a new product line, generating additional revenue streams and a contingency to protect the business, should tariffs be introduced that would harm existing product lines.
InterTradeIreland continuously works to assist small businesses, and it does this by developing upon its existing services. Our sales and marketing programme, Acumen, is entering a new phase, now all applicants to the programme will benefit from an export diagnostic, which will assess current export capabilities and identify areas for development and potential cross-border sales opportunities. Those who are successful will also benefit from up to €18,750 in funding towards the salary of a sales person to achieve new cross-border sales. We’ve listened to businesses and as a result, we will support SMEs to find the right sales person.
It is rare to have a two-year preparation period for what will potentially be a major disruption to the operating environment, but this is exactly what Brexit has offered. Businesses should therefore take advantage of this time by availing of the support offered by InterTradeIreland, as well as that of other Government and business agencies including supports for Irish SMEs under the ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ campaign www.dfa.ie/Brexit
About the author
This article was penned by Grant Gilmore, Brexit Manager.