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Growth Hub helps Cumbrian businesses prepare for Brexit

Cumbria Business Growth Hub has launched an online portal to help the county’s businesses prepare for Brexit.

Brexit Insight, on www.cumbriabusinessgrowthhub.co.uk, contains information on no-deal planning, tariffs, trade and migration, intellectual property, and sector-specific advice including specialist help for food businesses.

There is also a Brexit podcast, providing an overview of the main issues, and tools to streamline Brexit planning.

Rob Johnston, Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the lead partner in the Growth Hub, said: “We recently carried out a survey of Cumbrian businesses to find out how ready they are for Brexit.

“Almost half hadn’t started preparing, in most cases because they don’t know where to start or don’t have the right tools.

“We listened to what they said, identified the gaps in knowledge, then pulled together information from government and other sources.

“We think Brexit Insight is one of the most comprehensive Brexit planning resources available anywhere.

“I’d love to be able to say that it contains all the information businesses need. Sadly, it doesn’t.

“The British Chambers of Commerce is still waiting for answers to 20 unresolved critical Brexit-related questions for business that we put to the Government earlier this month.”

He added: “Theresa May’s announcement that she will allow MPs to vote on delaying Article 50 means that Brexit day is likely to be deferred from March 29th until May or June.

“This allows more time to prepare but, in reality, changes nothing. We still face the possibility of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

“We are urging businesses to make contingency plans because, if the UK leaves without a withdrawal agreement, there will be no transition period and the impacts will be immediate.

“Even if your business doesn’t import or export you may be affected by Brexit if your suppliers do or if you supply another business that does.”

The launch of Brexit Insight coincides with Cumbria Chamber’s Brexit Breakfast Briefing at Carlisle Racecourse on Thursday.

Sixty businesses are expected to attend the event, run in partnership with the law firm Muckle LLP.

It aims to help firms understand the post-Brexit legal landscape and the practical steps they can take to prepare.

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