Helping businesses prepare for Brexit

Online tool aimed at all companies.

A new online tool to help Scottish businesses identify how they could be affected by Brexit and what they can do to prepare has been launched by Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell.

Grants of up to £4,000 are already available for exporters and potential exporters to help them mitigate risks and capitalise on export opportunities despite the challenge Brexit will bring.

Now, the latest phase of Scotland's 'Prepare for Brexit' campaign will help all businesses - whether or not they export and regardless of size or sector - assess their exposure to Brexit-related risks before directing them to appropriate support from Scotland's Enterprise and Skills Agencies.

Speaking on a visit to Livingston-based industrial solutions supplier, Complete Storage Interiors, Mr Russell said:

"Brexit is the biggest risk facing Scotland right now, but only a third of Scottish companies are proactively planning for it.

"I have every sympathy with business because instead of a plan for Brexit the UK Government can still only offer a blank sheet of paper.

"But with only five months until the UK is due to leave the EU, we want to help every business in Scotland prepare as much as is possible, even though the UK Government still cannot tell us whether there is going to be an agreement on the terms of withdrawal, let alone offer any clarity on the future trading relationship.  

"The practical advice and support being offered by the Scottish Government, through our enterprise agencies, will help businesses safeguard, as much as they can in these circumstances, their own growth and that of the Scottish economy. Of course, the best way to mitigate the worst impact of Brexit, short of staying in the EU, is continued membership of the European Single Market and Customs Union."

Complete Storage Interiors Managing Director, Robert Kennedy said:

"SMEs are the job creators and innovators and we need clarity of what any deal will look like as any paralysis in the economy has a significant and immediate effect on us.

"We have seen customers postponing investment decisions and pausing purchasing. Delays in the supply chain are a big concern for many of our clients and we are already assisting some of our customers choosing to take on additional warehousing space and stockpile goods as they guard against supply chain issues, lengthy customs delays and potential tariffs. This additional spend ploughed into extra stock results in less available resources for investment in new machinery or staff.

"At CSI we have been looking at different ways of doing business and how we can continue to trade within the EU and with our key supply chain manufactures. We are using our skill sets and key partnerships with our manufactures to be proactive in our approach. As part of our contingency planning we have been working closely with Scottish Enterprise and are looking to further develop our e-commerce industrial products platforms to set up trading bases in Holland and Germany."

Background is a one-stop shop to help companies prepare for Brexit. It includes an online self-assessment tool as well as expert advice, events and workshops and financial support. 

The first element of the support package was announced in June with a grant of up to £4,000 for exporters and potential exporters to help them mitigate risks and capitalise on export opportunities despite the challenge Brexit will bring.


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