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Businesses in Tyrone and Mid Ulster can 'soften the blow' of BrexitPosted: 22/06/2017

In the first of a series of blogs ahead of the final arrangements for Britain's exit from the EU, Dungannon Enterprise Centre CEO, Brian MacAuley, reflects on how the local economy will be transformed by the process and ways in which businesses in the Tyrone and Mid Ulster area can mitigate against the impact.

"As a business there is always the feeling that Brexit is not going to happen or, like the much-anticipated Y2K technological phenomenon at the turn of the century, it’s going to be a non-event.

The reality, however, is that Brexit is going to transform the way we do business in the future. No one in Northern Ireland will be unaffected, simply because of the economic, political and social ties with the Republic, our neighbouring EU state.

"The economies are tied together at so many levels and, like it or not, this is going to change; to what extent, is anyone’s guess at this stage.

"Those of us that were about pre-1992 will remember the Customs stops, the delays at the border and the paperwork that had to be completed, (more often than not by a Customs clearance agent). While we can all hope for the best in that we never return to those days, it would be wise to plan for the worst.

"In terms of post-Brexit cross-border co-operation, that will require sanction by the Westminster government, but, in reality, will this goodwill be granted and, if so, to what extent?

"Given that economic forecasts predict there will be a significant increase in Dublin-bound traffic in the future, any sanctions will make an impact upon this. Perhaps, then, we could look at examples of cross-border arrangements such as those in Norway/Sweden or France/Switzerland for inspiration.

"The economic impact of Brexit, particularly in Mid Ulster and in the border areas of County Tyrone, cannot be underestimated and there are things that we, as business owners and those involved in encouraging enterprise, can do to pave the way for a smoother exit from the EU.

"To illustrate our dependence on the cross-border economy in Ireland, InterTradeIreland’s Director of Strategy and Policy, Aidan Gough, recently revealed that in the space of one month, 177,000 lorries, 205,000 vans and over 1.8 million cars will cross the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

"In one day, it is estimated that 30,000 people make the cross-border commute to work. These lorries, vans, cars and people are involved in a trade in goods and services that now totals close to €6 billion a year, growing at an average annual rate over the past twenty years at over four per cent.

"Yet there are some sensible steps that businesses can take at this stage in the process and which could even soften the blow if we end up with a “hard Brexit”.

 

A “War Fund”

Whatever happens in the future, change costs money. Businesses that start building a reserve now for that rainy Brexit day will be able to adapt quicker to changes than those businesses hoping for a soft Brexit.

 

Human Resources

Some businesses will be employing staff that hold passports from other EU countries. Others will be hoping to recruit from EU countries.

If it is a critical part of your business, you should start considering what you would do if recruitment was hindered by more regulations and explore options to mitigate against it. For example, I know of some manufacturing businesses that are considering increasing their automation and reducing their dependency upon personnel. Others are exploring the potential of relocating part of their business in an EU country.

 

Logistics

If there are border restrictions post-Brexit, consider how you will get your products to European markets or how you will procure materials from an EU state.

 

Currency

We are all well aware of the dangers of currency fluctuations so it is important to have a system to watch for changes in the Euro, hedging against changes and ensuring that the time between quoting and receiving payment is kept to a minimum.

 

Information on local business training events and sources of assistance in the Mid Ulster area can be found here on Dungannon Enterprise Centre’s website, and via our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Mobile Movie Making Workshop at Dungannon Enterprise CentrePosted: 22/06/2017

Did you know that in 2017, online video will account for 74 percent of all internet traffic, and that, already 55 percent of people watch videos online every day?

Marketing experts say social media is where video is growing the fastest, with 500 million people watching Facebook videos every day, and 82 percent of Twitter users watching video content on Twitter.

But video is growing in the business world too, with 75 percent of business executives watching online video every week.

As a result, 69 percent of marketing, sales and business professionals have used video marketing, and another 31 percent are planning to.

And, while professional, high quality, corporate videos can be expensive, it is possible for businesses to take the lead and produce engaging and shareable videos themselves, using nothing more than a smartphone.

In this practical, interactive training workshop, Niamh MacAuley, Video Production Officer with Purple Dot Videos, will show you how to use your phone to record marketing videos to promote your business, product or event.

The workshop will take place over three hours at Dungannon Enterprise Centre on Thursday 29th June 2017, and tickets cost £30 plus VAT.

You can book your place here

Creative Intern PrizePosted: 08/06/2017
Supplier Engagement Event to take place in CookstownPosted: 08/06/2017

The Glenavon Hotel in Cookstown is the venue for an important Supplier Engagement Event on June 21.

The Local Government Supplier Engagement event is specifically geared to those SMEs who want to seriously engage with the local government sector and take maximum advantage of the opportunities presented.

Not only will attendees get access to procurement professional decision makers, but the event will also provide valuable market information, tailored briefings, practical workshops on the key eTender platforms and a business support zone where key agencies can provide information on the latest available support packages. 

Why should businesses attend?

  • Meet the procurement personnel from 11 councils in Northern Ireland and 6 border councils of Ireland
  • Find out what councils require from suppliers and discuss upcoming procurement opportunities
  • Meet representatives from Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) and the Office of Government Procurement (OGP)
  • Get help registering on the main procurement portals on the island
  • Find out about funding opportunities and supports that are currently available to SMEs across the island of Ireland

This event is FREE to attend but places must be registered.   

For more information and to reserve your place visit www.intertradeireland.com/supplierengagement

Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry Awards OpenPosted: 07/06/2017

Businesses from across Northern Ireland are invited to compete in the fourteenth annual Chamber Business Awards, hosted by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

A full list of categories is as follows:

  • High Growth Business of the Year
  • Education and Business Partnership
  • Small Business of the Year
  • Export Business of the Year
  • Commitment to People Development
  • Best use of Technology
  • Excellence in Customer Service
  • Health and Wellbeing - NEW
  • Best use of Social Media - NEW

The closing date for entries is Friday 30 June 2017 with entrants being assessed and then declared a winner at regional level on 25 September 2017. 

Businesses can enter the awards online at www.chamberawards.co.uk or for further information you can email awards@chamberawards.co.uk or follow @NIChamber and @chamber_awards on Twitter.

Dungannon student Clara's award winning invention showcased in USAPosted: 25/05/2017

Dungannon Enterprise Centre's video production service was delighted to help a budding young entrepreneur whose invention for storing mobile phone cables earned her a major award and an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles.

Clara Deehan, a student of St Joseph's Grammar in Donaghmore, won the  Broadcom MASTERS International Award for her project, ‘Mobile Phone Tidy Plus’, an all in one mobile phone holder solution and a place on the International Program at Intel ISEF, a prestigious science and engineering fair.

The Broadcom showcase celebrates the achievements of young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and centres on an exhibition of innovative and exciting science projects, based around real world problems and carried out by students from schools across the island of Ireland.

The event was organised by Sentinus, an educational charity working with more than 50,000 young people each year, from schools and colleges across Northern Ireland, delivering programmes that promote engagement in STEM and support the development of scientific and technological skills.

On the day, exhibitions of project work from primary, post-primary and further education students were displayed and judged by industry experts who volunteer their time as part of a commitment to progress the STEM agenda for Northern Ireland.

And ahead of her trip to the US, Dungannon Enterprise Centre and Purple Dot Videos helped Clara with a video explaining her product, to be shown at the LA event.

Everyone at Dungannon Enterprise Centre would like to wish Clara continued success with her enterprising skills and no doubt she will be a force to be reckoned with in years to come!

 

Website: Concept NI Web Solutions

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