SMEs stepping up Brexit planning, says cross-Border business group

Intertrade reports one-fifth of Irish SMEs having put formal Brexit strategy in place

M1 between Dublin and Belfast:  A growing number of SMEs in Ireland are planning for the impact of Brexit. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

M1 between Dublin and Belfast: A growing number of SMEs in Ireland are planning for the impact of Brexit. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Despite fears over the possible impacts of Brexit, the number of firms across the island of Ireland reporting growth is at its highest level in seven years, according to a quarterly monitor by cross-Border agency Intertrade Ireland.

Its survey for April to June show that 46 per cent of Irish firms are recording growth. However, Intertrade says the picture “becomes much more complex... once you dig behind this topline figure”, as there are also increases in the numbers of firms that are declining, as well as those growing. Larger firms are reported as being more likely to be growing.

Building trade

The number of small and medium enterprises planning for Brexit is increasing, with about one-fifth of SMEs having formal strategies in place, Intertrade says, up from 4 per cent at the beginning of the year.

It found that the number of retail businesses in trouble is increasing. In the building trade, more than half of those surveyed reported fresh competition entering the market. There has also been a spike in the spare capacity reported in the manufacturing sector, with 27 per cent of companies reporting such slack, a “big increase” on the previous quarter, says Intertrade.