Firms are urged to prepare for Brexit

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Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to plan for the impacts of Brexit.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has made the call following the findings of the agency’s latest business panel survey, carried out in September and October 2018.

More than two-thirds (70 per cent) of firms which took part in the survey highlighted Brexit as one the main risks they face, and only 13 per cent stated it posed no risk. More than half (58 per cent) felt leaving the EU posed risks of changes in regulations, and 53 per cent were concerned about import tariffs.

Despite this, the survey showed that only 17 per cent of firms have a plan in place to help them prepare for Brexit.

In January, 25 delegates attended HIE’s ‘Get your business-Brexit ready’ workshop. This covered topics such as communication with suppliers and customers, customs, documentation and workload. The agency also ran a free webinar on 25 February to help businesses prepare for Brexit.

The survey suggests potential for increased competition in domestic markets as more businesses seek to grow their markets within Scotland or the UK to counter the impacts of Brexit.