Published: 16 September 2019
From: Department of the Taoiseach

Brexit represents a significant challenge for businesses in Ireland, which can’t be underestimated. That’s why Government, working with industry bodies and business groups, started preparing supports for business from the time Brexit first became a possibility. Government’s priority is to ensure that businesses right around the country can manage risks and maximise growth opportunities. This has informed the range of advisory and financial supports that are in place.

An overview of the range of supports available and where you can find further details is below.

There is an ongoing calendar of Government events across the country. For details of upcoming events in your sector or locality, please visit here .

You can also sign up to the weekly Government Brexit update , which outlines the latest developments on Brexit preparation, outreach and supports.

We are also working with our EU partners on a range of measures. The European Commission has prepared a set of over 90 Preparedness Notices that explain a wide range of effects that Brexit may have if no agreement is reached. Firms are encouraged to consult the European Commission’s website to review the Notices and consider relevant actions that may be required to mitigate any potential negative impacts that may arise for them in terms of Brexit.

Getting advice

There is a broad range of programmes and advisory supports in place depending on your specific business needs.

For all businesses: InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Advisory Service provides a range of practical advice, support and information for businesses on Brexit related issues.

For small and micro businesses: The Local Enterprise Office network is running a nationwide Brexit Mentor Programme to support business owners and managers.

For those who export: Enterprise Ireland is running Brexit Advisory Clinics across the country as well as a series of Brexit Webinars with information and key tips that will help your business mitigate some of the risks of Brexit.

Managing currency risk

As part of its dedicated Getting Brexit Ready programme, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has published Currency Risk Management for Irish SMEs . Further guidance and tools for managing currency exposure are available here .

Financial supports

In response to Brexit, a number of financial supports have been introduced to help address the challenges that it presents for Irish business. These include:

  • InterTradeIreland’s Start to Planvouchers, which provide up to €2,250 for SMEs to source professional advice/training to prepare for Brexit. Businesses can also avail of financial support up to €5,625 through the Brexit Implementation Voucher .
  • Skillnet Ireland’s Clear Customsinitiative, which offers immediate and free customs training to customs intermediaries, and to businesses who frequently trade with or through the UK. Participating businesses can avail of a payment of up to €6,000 per employee that completes the training to invest in staffing and other eligible customs compliance costs (to a maximum of ten employees per business).
  • Cashflow may be impacted by Brexit and businesses should consider applying for a working capital loan through the Brexit Loan Schemethrough which eligible businesses can secure loans from €25,000 up to €1.5 million, including unsecured loans up to €500,000, for terms of up to three years and a maximum interest rate of 4%.
  • The Local Enterprise Office network offers a range of supports including a Technical Assistance for Micro-Exportersgrant, which supports businesses to develop new export market opportunities.
  • Enterprise Ireland’s Be Prepared Grantoffers up to €5,000 to assist exporting client companies to develop a plan to deal with Brexit and the Market Discovery Fund, which supports companies to research viable and sustainable new market entry strategies.
  • The Future Growth Loan Scheme, which makes up to €300 million of loans available to support strategic investment by SMEs, in a post-Brexit environment. The scheme offers loans with terms of 8-10 years and is open to eligible Irish businesses, including those in the primary agriculture and seafood sectors.
  • The Online Retail Scheme through which eligible SMEs can secure funding of up to €25,000 to develop a more competitive online offer. The total fund size is up to €1.25 million. The most recent call for proposals closed on 31 July with the awards to be announced shortly. You can find more information on the Scheme here.

Upskilling supports

A range of supports to upskill staff within your business have been developed across key areas to address the challenges of Brexit including customs clearance, supply chain management, and marketing. These include:

Customs and supply chain

  • Skillnet Ireland’s Clear Customsinitiative offers immediate and free customs training to customs intermediaries, and to businesses who frequently trade with or through the UK. Participating businesses can avail of a payment of up to €6,000 per employee that completes the training to invest in staffing and other eligible customs compliance costs (to a maximum of ten employees per business).
  • Enterprise Ireland’s Customs Insights, a 45 minute online course available to all businesses which aims to give companies a good understanding of the key customs concepts, documentation and processes required to succeed post-Brexit.
  • The Local Enterprise Offices run one-day customs workshops throughout the country, which aim to provide businesses with a better understanding of the potential impacts, formalities and procedures when trading with the UK post-Brexit. Visit ieto register.
  • Enterprise Ireland’s Act On Initiative, a customised programme to help eligible companies develop an action plan for Brexit focusing on the areas of financial and currency management, strategic sourcing, and customs and logistics.
  • Bord Bia offers training in customs and tariffs, currency risk and supply chain managementtailored for the needs of the food and drink sector. Bord Bia’s Supply Chain Strategy Guide and the Logistics Service Provider Directory aim to support businesses to identify operations partners, establish more efficient distribution channels or routes and identify possible strategies for managing Brexit.

Other training supports

Businesses can also avail of existing training supports through:

  • Their local Regional Skills Forum which helps employers to connect with the range of services and supports available across the education and training system. Contact your Regional Skills Foramanager to explore your options.
  • The Skillnet Ireland Networkwhich works with businesses across a range of sectors to meet existing and emerging skills needs.
  • Springboard +which offers free/subsidised higher-level courses in a range of areas such as business development and logistics/supply chain management.
  • Participation in the Logistics or Retail sector apprenticeship programmes. For further information visit the Apprenticeship Council.
  • Enterprise Ireland’s GradStart programmewhich supports client companies in the recruitment of highly skilled graduates to develop and grow their business for two years. Where a company has a clear requirement for a graduate with language proficiency, 70% of individual graduate salary costs are covered.

Further information on these training and upskilling supports is available from Getting Business Brexit Ready: Upskilling .

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