Businesses told to get ‘brexit ready’ at business forum

Phil Stott and Tristan Hogg

Phil Stott and Tristan Hogg

Small and medium sized enterprises across the region should use the next two years to get ‘Brexit-ready’.

The call to action was issued by west-based business support service GetSet for Growth at their one-year anniversary event to unveil the range of support programmes available to SMEs in 2017.

The 40 companies who attended heard that last year GetSet for Growth, which is funded by the Government Regional Growth Fund, helped more than 450 local businesses raise some £1.5m and create 100 jobs in its first 12 months.

Phil Stott, Project Director of GetSet for Growth, which is funded by the Government Regional Growth Fund, comments: “SMEs now operate in different times following the EU referendum result. In the run-up to March 2019, SMEs should take the opportunity to get Brexit-ready.

“The trade environment could be completely different in just two years. So businesses need to plan ahead and think what skills, advice and support they need now to avoid a crunch moment in early 2019.

“Already we’re seeing more businesses come to us with support requirements to help them with plans to capitalise upon the weaker pound and export their goods to new markets.

“I anticipate wider impact on business decision-making as the UK’s withdrawal from the EU approaches. GetSet for Growth is ready to support SMEs in the west with the springboard they need to thrive and grow.”

By July 2017, the service aims to have helped close to 700 businesses in the West, create a further 120 new jobs and £1m of finance.

Guest speaker at the event was Tristan Hogg from Pieminister, a west-country success story which now sells its pies nationwide.

He said: “Businesses in the west have a strong creative and entrepreneurial spirit. But even we need inspiration, support and ideas from outside the business, which is where organisations with extensive experience, like GetSet for Growth, come in.

“For Pieminister, the thirteen years since we got up-and-running has gone in a flash. In business planning terms, March 2019 is fast approaching and the time to plan and upskill for company growth which adapts to a new, post-EU trading environment is now.”