Brexit message from Buckinghamshire Business First’s MD

Business owners must engage in continuity planning for Brexit in the same way they would for any other potential risk to their business, with the government saying it will push for an exit from the EU no matter what on October 31st.

By Philippa Batting, Managing Director, Buckinghamshire Business First

I’ll get straight to the point: is your business ready for Brexit?

And straight to another point: Buckinghamshire Business First has funding available to help businesses prepare for Brexit.

I’m under no illusions that you would have given the subject of Brexit a lot of thought over the last few months and years, but have you considered its impact on your business enough to actually take action to prepare for it?

There’s a time and a place for looking back at the whole process that has lead us to Brexit, but business owners have no choice but to look ahead and use the information available to them to make the best decisions for their business.

It’s understandable that the perpetually ongoing negotiations can cause some to think that Brexit may never happen, or will be delayed again. But with the government saying it will push for an exit from the EU no matter what on October 31st, businesses cannot be complacent and assume that they won’t need to prepare for what is going to come.

Planning for Brexit is just continuity planning in a different name

Business owners must engage in continuity planning for Brexit in the same way they would for any other potential risk to their business, and uncertainty over what a final deal on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will look like, or whether there will be a deal at all, should not be used as an excuse for inaction. Ultimately, delaying continuity planning is more dangerous than hoping for the best.

Do you know what key actions you need to take, such as applying for an EORI number in order to continue trading with EU countries in the event of a no deal Brexit? HMRC announced recently that it would automatically allocate EORI numbers to more than 88,000 VAT-registered businesses, but non-VAT businesses still need to apply for one themselves unless they already have one.

Funding to help your business prepare for Brexit

As mentioned, Buckinghamshire Business First has funding available to help business prepare for Brexit. We have two vouchers available.

One offers up to £2,000 to put towards professional advice to help businesses identify their exposure to Brexit and to plan for the future. Smaller firms in particular may need help to work out their individual exposure and the specific measures they can take to adjust. A voucher will pay for advice from experienced advisers about customs requirements; supply chain exposure; VAT implications; the movement of labour, goods, and services; tariff codes; EU staff contracts; IP; certification and labelling, and more.

The other voucher is for up to £5,000 for the implementation of critical changes to ensure businesses are better prepared to deal with new trading relationships. Examples include: storage solutions and stockpiling; additional staff salaries to cover overtime and additional labour; training; software updates; and raising short term finance for cashflow purposes to help fund the types of activity mentioned here.

To find out more about the vouchers, visit www.bbf.uk.com/brexit-funding, contact our business support team on 01494 927130 or at Brexit@bbf.uk.com.

Bookmark our Brexit homepage for ongoing advice

Visit bbf.uk.com/brexit for a comprehensive list of funding, events, advice and resources all designed to help your business prepare for Brexit. Remember to return to this page when you need information.

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