The impact of ‘Brexit’ on the economy of the East Antrim area was at the top of the menu when Larne Development Forum hosted a business breakfast last week.
The breakfast, at Willowbank Business Park, was one of a series of six such events being organised through the Forum and LEDCOM and sponsored by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council as part of its ongoing programme of support for local businesses through providing advice and information about issues relevant to them.
In a difficult and uncertain economic climate, businesses need to be well informed and ready for any new challenges and opportunities that may emerge with the impact of ‘Brexit’ being one of the most topical issues to consider at present.
There were three speakers who focused on various aspects of the subject.
Ronan Trainor of Invest Northern Ireland outlined the range of support available to eligible businesses to help them identify and pursue market opportunities outside Northern Ireland. Invest NI’s role is to grow the local economy. It does this by helping new and existing businesses to compete internationally, and by attracting new investment to Northern Ireland.
Suzanne Hill of Handel Export spoke on the challenges and opportunities presented by exporting in a post BREXIT environment and how businesses can become “export ready”. Suzanne is one of the UK’s most experienced and respected export consultants. In the past 15 years she has helped over 700 companies establish new sales channels in 60 countries.
Stealth Translations Ltd. a local innovative company, based in Willowbank Business Par, presented a case study highlighting the opportunities and challenges of exporting for small businesses. For more than 10 years, Stealth has been providing high quality, technical translation services to and from any language using any electronic format. Its specialities include translation, interpretation, transcription, voice over, localisation and certification.
Following the presentations, there was a discussion session, led by Suzanne Hill, in which opportunity was given to raise questions and concerns relating to the impact of BREXIT on businesses who wish to export and import goods and services. Points raised by those attending included currency uncertainties, the rising cost of imported raw materials and new export opportunities through the weaker pound.
Suzanne challenged business with the message that innovation and the ability to adapt quickly were the keys to facing future challenges and opportunities.