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Minister encourages businesses to access support to prepare for EU Exit

Pictured with Economy Minister Diane Dodds are (L-R) Kevin Holland (CEO of Invest NI) and Aidan Gough (Designated Accounting Officer and Director of Strategy and Policy at InterTradeIreland)

Economy Minister Diane Dodds has encouraged businesses across Northern Ireland to access EU Exit support from Invest Northern Ireland and InterTradeIreland.

The resources on offer to help prepare for the end of the EU Exit transition period include online Brexit tools, webinars and EU Exit support vouchers.

The Minister said:

“I know that many businesses are increasingly concerned by how best to prepare for EU Exit. The impact of Covid has meant that many do not have the resources they would otherwise have had to prepare.

“To address this issue, I have been working with both Invest NI and InterTradeIreland to ensure support is available to businesses that need it. I hope business will avail of this support. 

“There are also many issues where there remains uncertainty. In these areas I will continue to press for solutions that meet the needs of our businesses.”

Invest NI offers a range of support services to companies including www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk, information workshops, an online assessment tool, a Brexit preparation grant, and online tutorials which provide access to specialist advisers in people movement and immigration, preparing your data for EU Exit and VAT implications.

InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Advisory Service provides financial support and professional support on customs, supply chain, rules of origin with online learning supplemented by specialist webinars aimed at the cross-border market.

The Minister continued:

“While clarity is still required on several issues, there are things that businesses can do now to ensure they are equipped to face the challenges and opportunities from 1 January 2021.”

Actions which businesses could take now include:

  • Review and map full supply chains;

  • Understand where your data is hosted and how your organisation moves data across the EU border;

  • Complete a workplace audit and provide information to European Economic Area workers in relation to the EU Settlement Scheme;

  • Complete Invest NI’s EU Exit Resilience online assessment tool to assess your level of business readiness;

  • Review and map out transport routes for goods;

  • Sign up for the UK Government’s free Trader Support Service; and

  • Sign up for gov.uk updates on transition arrangements.

Kevin Holland, CEO of Invest NI, said: “We know that Northern Ireland businesses are facing challenging times from Covid-19 and that EU Exit presents further uncertainty. To help with this, we have reinforced our suite of supports, which includes a Brexit preparation grant and an upcoming webinar programme with specialist advice in key areas.  

“The Northern Ireland business community has proven itself capable of meeting challenges before and our EU Exit support will help this continue. I encourage businesses to get ready, and to act now to mitigate potential risks and ensure Northern Ireland businesses emerge stronger than ever. Check our website, sign up for an information event or talk to someone locally in Invest NI to see how we can help your business through the transition and into future trade opportunities.”

Aidan Gough, Designated Accounting Officer and Director of Strategy and Policy at InterTradeIreland, said:

“The Northern Ireland Protocol ensures there will be no customs checks or controls on goods moving between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“However there remain important areas, such as mutual recognition of qualifications, data transfer, services trade and supply chain issues, not yet subject to agreement that could greatly impact the way a business currently trades across the border.

“InterTradeIreland has supports available to help cross-border traders assess their exposure in these areas and to take mitigating actions.”

  • InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Advisory service offers information and support through voucher funding of up to £2,000/€2,250, as well as a tailor-made on-line learning tool - https://brexit2020.intertradeireland.com. For information on the latest research, networking and information events got to https://intertradeireland.com/brexit/funding.