Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Board and Mayor Dan Jarvis are preparing to ensure that businesses across the region do not become poorer as a result of Brexit, no matter how it pans out.
The LEP Board, chaired by newly-appointed Chair James Muir, debated the potential impacts of Brexit on the region’s economy and discussed possible mitigation measures to ensure communities and businesses continue to thrive.
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “Whatever the outcome of Brexit, it’s my job as Mayor to do all I can to ensure our region’s communities and businesses can thrive in the future.
“Preparing the Sheffield City Region for Brexit is the prism through which I view my Mayoralty. It’s key to everything that we do, from creating good jobs to attracting investment, growing an inclusive economy and building infrastructure fit for the 21st Century.
“I’ve submitted evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Post-Brexit funding, and joined with Mayors across the UK to argue that post-Brexit funding should be devolved to regional leaders.
“The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub is publishing a toolkit for all businesses that will enable them to carry out a self-assessment which will advise them about their strengths and weakness in six key areas, including innovation and skills. The toolkit will also direct them to resources and expert help so that they can prepare.”
“Whatever happens over the coming weeks, months and years, I am determined to ensure our region’s economic growth continues and that we are both insulated against the challenges and best positioned to exploit the opportunities.”
At the meeting, the LEP board heard that local authorities across the region have carried out their own Brexit impact assessments and determined how Brexit may affect the services they provide.
The Sheffield City Region assessment aims to offer a complementary analysis and to provide details about the potential effects of Brexit on the whole of the Sheffield City Region economy.
Some of the common themes emerging from businesses is that they’re waiting to see what happens with Brexit before thinking about how it might affect them. The LEP board is now encouraging and facilitating all businesses to start considering the potential implications of Brexit on their business at an earlier stage.
To help them do this, later this month, the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub will be launching their Brexit toolkit. Businesses will be able to complete a free online self-assessment that will ask questions about their current position. A tailored report will then be produced for each business, which will provide them with details about how Brexit may affect them, and what mitigation measures they can take. The toolkit will also direct them to resources and expert help so that they can prepare.
The report also highlighted that South Yorkshire’s export market is heavily dependent on the EU, with 57% of the value of all goods going to this market. This means that the region is exposed to the negative effects of potential increased delays and tariffs.
Lower numbers of EU workers, especially lower-skilled workers would cause challenges to businesses in the region. These impacts would be greater on the logistics and manufacturing sectors, as well as the health and higher education sectors if there are fewer high-skilled EU migrants.