Louth Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú attended the recent business themed Brexit briefing hosted by Louth Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland in the Ballymascanlon Hotel on Thursday last.
Councillor Ó Murchú said;
“The SCBI / LEO breakfast was certainly more impressive than recent commentary from Boris Johnson and others in relation to the entire Brexit debacle.
“This event, which had presentations by the SCBI, Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland and the LEO was designed to inform local businesses of the range of supports and finance that are available to business for Brexit proofing.”
Cllr Ó Murchú advised that “there is a necessity to draw the business community’s attention to these Brexit preparation aids.”
InterTrade Ireland has a ‘Brexit Voucher’ system which allows companies to engage a professional, to the value of €1,250 to evaluate its exposure to Brexit.
Enterprise Ireland offer ‘Be Prepared Grants’ for SMEs who would benefit from further research and may need specialist services in developing their Brexit plan. This grant can be up to €5,000.
The SCBI Brexit Loan Scheme offers amounts of between €25,000 to €1.5m, loan terms ranging from 1 year to 3 years and unsecured loans up to €500,000. All information relating to these schemes are to be found on each organisation’s website.
“The LEO contribution by Thomas McEvoy was a comprehensive list of the many services available to companies in relation to planning, marketing, their online platforms etc. and didn’t just relate to Brexit.
“For information on the all these services go to localenterprise.ie/louth.
“Any measures which may mitigate some of the negatives of the Brexit process on Irish companies are to be welcomed. I would encourage companies and businesses in Louth to seek further information from the Local Enterprise Office.”
This event was attended by representatives of many local businesses both SMEs and larger companies.
“Their attendance is proof of the levels of concern among the business community regarding the negative effects Brexit could have on their ability to trade competitively.
“Sinn Féin has consistently said that Brexit will be bad for Ireland, north and south, in economic, political, social and cultural terms. I believe that the Irish Government must ensure the backstop agreement is enacted in the event of a no deal Brexit.
“Dr Vincent Power, the highly entertaining keynote speaker told of the spectrum of Brexit in relation to the multiple facets of the economy and society and its impact upon them. Brexit in relation to people and goods being different to Brexit in relation to services and that’s not to speak of medicines and aviation etc. He explained the Customs Union and Single Market as being maintained by a hermetical seal along EU borders which are a lot less porous than ours. He stated that any Brexit deal likely to be done would be a ‘skinny deal’ and a perpetual state of negotiations between Britain and the EU.
“Following my question on how he foresaw the Irish border post Brexit. He couldn’t see anything other than a ‘Hong Kong’ type solution and a border in the Irish sea. Anything else would have definite ramifications for border communities and businesses.
“This solution sounds to me like special designated status for the 6 counties, which would allow it to stay within the EU and maintain the necessary alignments between North and South.
“This was a useful event and I commend the staff of Louth LEO for convening this information briefing.”