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Connect Yorkshire Partner and Leeds and York based chartered accountants, Garbutt + Elliott, are set to host a free roundtable event, on behalf of the Brexit Planning for Business Working Group, on March 20th at their recently renovated York offices.

The Brexit Planning for Business Working Group is a ‘self-help’ group bringing Yorkshire businesses together in an urgent initiative to promote good Brexit planning. It is a place for them to pool concerns, share best practice and offer advice, in a round-table discussion format.

Co-creator, Peter Winter, Export Manager at Easingwold based company, ITP, explains: “Large companies have spent billions planning for Brexit over the last three years but smaller businesses don’t have these resources. So even though the large corporations know nothing more than SMEs, they are at least armed with the finances to prepare contingency plans. This group aims to help the smaller businesses be as prepared as possible.”

The government recently highlighted its own concerns that smaller businesses are massively under-prepared.  For example, HMRC announced that only 17% of businesses that currently trade with other EU states have taken the most basic step to be allowed to continue doing so after a no-deal Brexit.

Dick Jennings, commercial solicitor, also co-creator of the working group, says: “Business people know there’s a strong risk that this is the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced.  It’s incredibly difficult when no-one knows what is going to happen but that’s more reason to plan carefully for all scenarios.  We know there is a wealth of know-how on the topic amongst Yorkshire businesses and that there is a great will among people at the cutting edge to share their knowledge.”

Neither pro-Brexit nor pro-Remain, the group is, quite simply, pro-Business. It has formed to allow local businesses to come together and share thoughts, advice, opinion, ideas and experiences. The idea is that there is total confidentiality, so that people can speak freely, and a total absence of politics, so that conversation remains neutral and focussed.

Business advisors,  owners and senior managers can register their interest, for this free event at www.garbutt-elliott.co.uk/events/