Lancashire businesses have less than a month to prepare for a potential no-deal Brexit and are being advised to urgently assess how they will be affected and get plans in place.
The calls come as the Government-backed Help for Brexit service, which is being delivered by the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, begins across Lancashire today.
The free service offers a wealth of workshops, seminars and webinars aimed at helping businesses understand the implications of an October 31 exit from the EU.
Babs Murphy, chief executive at the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Brexit will bring fundamental changes to the way we do business. If there is indeed a no-deal Brexit on October 31, Lancashire companies have very limited time to implement the significant changes expected.
“Those who fail to plan at this crucial time will have little idea of how their goods, staff, raw materials and finances will be affected. This will create a huge regulatory burden with the potential to significantly impact their bottom line.”
The Help for Brexit service includes more than 20 events, all be during October, at venues in Preston, Blackpool, Fylde, Leyland and Chorley.
They will be delivered by experts and cover areas including cross-border trade, people, skills, immigration, regulatory compliance, accounting, taxation and insurance. The first events, two workshops designed to help businesses plan to implement operational changes in a no-deal Brexit, will be held in Preston and St Annes today.
More than 80 businesses have already registered to attend Help for Brexit events since it was announced last week.
Babs added: “Many companies are already planning for the challenges and opportunities ahead but a substantial number are not. Every company in Lancashire, even those who do not think they will be directly affected, should be undertaking no-deal preparation as a matter of urgency.
The service is free to all firms in Preston, Wyre, Fylde, Blackpool, Lancaster, Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancs.
Help for Brexit is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s £10m Brexit Readiness Fund.
Full details of the programme are at www.helpforbrexit.co.uk.