One in every ten exporting companies who are clients of Enterprise Ireland say they have spent over €100,000 on preparing for Brexit so far, according to a new survey by the organisation.

It also found that almost 5% of exporting firms have spent €250,000 on Brexit preparations.

The research was conducted among 650 Enterprise Ireland client businesses who over the next three days will meet 140 of its international markets advisors at Dublin's RDS to learn about exporting opportunities in new markets as a direct response to Brexit.

Over half of responding companies said that Brexit has already had an impact on their business.

The research also found that even before it takes place, Brexit is impacting profit margins.

Currency fluctuations are the number one concern amongst Irish exporters, the research found.

This is followed by worries over tariffs, supply chain disruption and general uncertainty.


But amid all the twists and turns, the companies questioned do seem to be acting on the diversification advice they are receiving, with 83% planning to expand into international markets in the next year in response to Brexit.

The eurozone was seen by four out of five of the respondents as the market region that holds the most potential over the next 12 months.

Despite the progress though, Enterprise Ireland continues to encourage Irish exporters to expand into new markets, in order to reduce their reliance on the UK economy.

"We have consistently said that the wait and see approach is not an option and client companies are heeding this advice," said Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive of Enterprise Ireland.

"In 2018, 945 new overseas customers were secured by clients with the support of Enterprise Ireland."

"This represented a 23% increase on the 770 new overseas customers recorded in 2017. Overall, Enterprise Ireland client companies have opened 275 new overseas presences in the first six months of 2019."

A new campaign has been launched to highlight the practical steps all businesses - large and small - should immediately take to prepare for Brexit.  

Central to the campaign is a user-friendly digital booklet, which provides a comprehensive overview for businesses on the core steps they should take.

The booklet was launched today by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys and Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee at the RDS today.

The digital booklet can be accessed at gov.ie/brexit

Today's new campaign urges business owners to:

- Understand the new rules for UK importing and exporting
- Review your supply chain and UK market strategy
- Be aware of possible changes to transport and logistics
- Review all your certification, regulation and licencing
- Review your contracts and data management
- Ensure you are maximising Government Brexit programmes and supports
- Manage your cash flow, currency and make sure your banking is in order
- Protect and inform your staff
- Know more about the impact to your sector. 

Meanwhile, a nationwide advertising campaign will also target the previously identified sectors of concern which still have low levels of Brexit preparedness. 

These include smaller businesses who may not realise they are trading with the UK, construction firms, manufacturing companies, agri-food businesses, retail and hardware stores that source products from or through the UK as well as hauliers.

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said that continuing to prepare for Brexit makes good business sense. 

"As the UK is one of our closest trading and business partners, this will mean change for all Irish businesses - regardless of location, size or sector," the Minister added.