What is our LEP doing about preparing Plan B in case of Brexit?

It is possible they are doing nothing. We are not allowed to know – it is secret. Here is what some small and medium-sized companies are already doing:

“Above a factory floor of machines carving metal to within a millionth of a metre, Stephen Cheetham is preparing his company for the unknown: a British exit from the European Union.

Since the government announced a referendum on Britain’s future in Europe, Cheetham has deferred investment decisions, put off expensive hiring and even bought equipment with his own money to avoid straining the balance sheet. …

… smaller companies in the manufacturing heartlands, crucial to the economy and often inextricably linked to continental Europe, are formulating contingency plans that illustrate the risks facing businesses across the country and the steps being taken to mitigate them.

At the start of 2015, almost half of Britain’s private-sector turnover came from firms that employed fewer than 249 people, according to the Department for Business.

For Cheetham his “disaster plan” involves jettisoning nearly half of his 30 employees if a Brexit compounds the drag from an already slowing global economy at his firm in the English rural town of Hereford.

Across the nearby Welsh border, Gareth Jenkins, who runs a toolmaking firm, has identified which major customers in Europe are likely to abandon him should they have to accept higher costs or slower delivery times that might come from new border controls with EU countries if Britain leaves the bloc.

He has calculated the financial impact and says in a worst-case scenario he could lose 25 percent of his turnover. He plans to tell his 91 employees in the next couple of weeks that a vote to leave could force him to lay off a quarter of staff. …

… Adam Shuter, head of haulier Exact Logistics, is investigating whether he should set up a German office, which he thinks could cost less than the additional taxes and paperwork of serving EU customers from outside the bloc.

“For a small business, it’s quite a bit of investment,” he said. “It just adds a layer of administration.”

He is also gauging the extra customs costs his British customers might incur outside the EU, using non-members Norway and Switzerland as guides, and looking at how much it would cost to set up expensive software to handle border clearances.

… British importers also fear they will have to pay VAT sales tax when they take delivery of goods from the EU – rather than at the point of sale – making cashflow harder to manage.”