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Just 10% of city region firms have made changes to their strategies or operations in response to Brexit
Richard Bell

Leeds LEP reveals new measures to help firms navigate post-Brexit Britain

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has announced a raft of measures to help businesses survive in post-Brexit Britain.

New research, carried out by the LEP and City Region Chambers of Commerce, suggests that 90% of the local companies have not developed a plan to prepare for Britain’s departure from the EU.

On the back of the findings, the LEP is taking steps to support businesses as they navigate new economic conditions and potential market volatility.

Measures include signposting, through the LEP’s Growth Service, to support from public and private sector bodies; exploring flexibility in its business grant programmes; and focussing on maintaining the region’s record levels of inward investment and exports.

The report, published this week by the LEP board, found that just 10% of city region firms have so far made changes to their strategies or operations in response to Brexit.

Further, over half (60%) of businesses are not considering changes to their business strategy – even after Brexit.

LEP chair Roger Marsh OBE said: “With the detail of any Brexit deal still unclear, businesses need support to help them plan for possible eventualities.

“Working with our public and private sector partners, we are doing what we can to help businesses prepare for the potential opportunities and challenges of Brexit.”

He continued: “Through our work with foreign-owned companies in the region we are identifying opportunities to bring forward new commercial investment and build new trade relationships with overseas markets.

“We also intend to explore quickly the introduction of flexibilities to our business grant criteria to provide short-term investment to help firms manage any unintended consequences of Brexit.”

Speaking further, Mr Marsh said the LEP is doing “all it can” to allocate as much of the city region’s current European funding allocation as possible by the end of March.

He added: “[We] are continuing to press the case to Government for an ambitious post-Brexit funding settlement for our region that will allow us to continue our positive growth.”

The LEP has written to Government seeking approval for the proposed flexibilities around its business grant criteria, which it says should be broadened to prioritise stabilising the city region economy.

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