Firms prepared for a no-deal Brexit better placed to deal with pandemic crisis

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Businesses who made contingency plans ahead of a potential no-deal Brexit could be better placed to mitigate the disruption and economic standstill caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

That’s according to directors at some British firms where scaling back investment and diverting capital to create stockpiles of critical components has left them in a better position to mitigate the new crisis. 

Speaking to Bloomberg earlier this week, insulation business owner Dabid Merrick noted that: “We are drawing lessons from a process that has actually been a real pain for us.

“Every time there was a deadline, we’d have to pull together and build up inventory and find ways to overcome problems. And not investing in machinery has provided liquidity that would have been tied up in an asset. The crisis management we went through has helped.”

Another company director who has seen pre-Brexit business planning benefit him now is David Lenehan of Northern Industrial Electronics. His firm invested in remote-working software and training in preparation of a possible hard Brexit, as well as firming up travel plans across Europe to ensure the company could continue to service their primary customers. 

Lenehan commented that: “We’re lucky we did that, although we didn’t think we would ever need 30 people to be doing it all at once.”

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Yet whilst some firms have seen a glimmer of operational hope thanks to Brexit preparedness, most are suffering as a result of the pandemic. Over half of manufacturers have seen orders shrink by over 50% in the last month alone according to a MarketFinance survey. Two in three say they expect to run out of cash by the end of April. 

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