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35% of SMEs in the Republic of Ireland and 40% in Northern Ireland cancel or postpone investment plans due to Brexit
Conor Dever
Staff Writer

At this stage you are probably sick of hearing about Brexit, but unfortunately we have a ways to go before we can dispense with one of the stupidest compound words in the english language. Still, there is so much we don't know about Brexit. This simple fact, in itself, is damaging to the economy and your pocket it seems.

It’s all about uncertainty. Uncertainty is the order of the day in many markets. Even in America they are struggling with uncertainty, due mostly to the current administration's approach to trade with China.

Here though, it is of course down to Brexit.  

A new study by AIB shows that 35% of small to medium enterprises in the Republic have either cancelled or postponed investment plans because of Brexit. While showing the scale of the impact that Brexit is having on business in the Republic, the figure is even higher at 40% in the North.

Tourism sector hardest hit

One of Ireland’s strongest performing sectors, and one in which we take an enormous sense of pride, is our tourism sector, which has received a huge boost in recent years with the likes of initiatives like the Wild Atlantic Way. The North has also seen an influx of tourists following the popularity of Game of Thrones.

However it seems that it is the tourism sector that is being the hardest hit in terms of the Brexit impact.

The study shows that 25% of Republic of Ireland small and medium enterprises in the tourism sector are reporting lower sales and 20% are reporting higher cost-of-sales. And it seems that Brexit is hooking its tendrils into other industries now too.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, one thing that is now certain is that business owners are worried about the possible knock-on effects.

The number of small to medium enterprises in the Republic reporting that Brexit is starting to impact on their business has risen to 32% from 25%.

Usually at this point, we would say that the interim between now and March 29th will tell us a lot about what will happen next, and how it will affect Irish business. However, it doesn’t look like things will be getting any clearer any time soon.

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