24 May 2019 SMEs should commence implementation of their no deal Brexit contingencies to insulate themselves from possible shocks. This was the advice from the President of CPA Ireland, Gearóid O’Driscoll, who said that “early planning is prudent, given the current political climate in the UK. Smart action today will help soften the impact of a no deal should it occur.”
Speaking at the CPA Annual Conference 2019 O’Driscoll said “The challenges of a no-deal Brexit have been well articulated for over two years. Now that risk seems greater than ever and Irish SMEs should be proactive now to reduce the impact that could hit in just a few short months.”
“It seems clear that many smaller businesses in rural communities will feel the impact of Brexit earlier and harder than those in urban locations,” said O’Driscoll. “Waiting is no longer an option and businesses must look at the critical changes. This should include their supply chains, customs arrangements and currency management.”
Gearoid O’Driscoll, President of CPA Ireland commended the Government supports in place. “There is a wide range of assistances the Government have implemented. This includes the €300m Brexit loan scheme specifically for SMEs. All businesses should familiarise themselves with the help available and avail of those that are appropriate.”
Also speaking at the conference Dr. Declan Jordan, Senior lecturer in UCC’s Cork University Business School said “After a small respite from the extension to Brexit, the focus in the UK and Ireland is rapidly returning to the ongoing saga of the UK’s attempts to leave the EU. For businesses, who should not discount the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, the optimal strategy is still to hope for the best and plan for the worst.”
Rural communities are particularly vulnerable to Brexit according to Dr. Jordan who said “The impact of Brexit will not be the same for every sector and every region in Ireland. Some types of businesses will be more negatively affected. We know that businesses most exposed to the UK economy include SMEs in agri-food and basic manufacturing. These businesses are over-represented in rural locations and as a result more rural locations, are most at risk.
“However the story is not completely bleak,” according to Dr. Jordan. “While the effect of Brexit may be to reduce the level of Irish economic activity, particularly felt in vulnerable sectors and regions, the Irish economy is dynamic enough and Irish businesses vibrant enough to eventually deal with Brexit setbacks.”
Today’s CPA Ireland Annual Conference takes place in the Radisson Little Island, Cork and is kindly sponsored by AIB.
Further media coverage of the event is available on the Irish Independent Biz Plus and the Times UK
(Pictured at the Annual CPA Ireland Conference 2019 was John Creedon, Chair of the CPA Ireland conference, Lorraine Green, Head of Market Engagement AIB, Gearoid O'Driscoll, President of CPA Ireland and guest speaker Dr Declan Jordan, Cork University Business School.)