Business owners came together to consider options and opportunities offered for trade and investment post-Brexit.

Armstrong Watson held its first Business Owner Forum of 2019 at Carlisle Racecourse last week.

Paul Dickson, chief executive and managing partner, told the delegates recent research from the Association of Practising Accountants highlighted a much more pessimistic view from business owners than during the 12 months previous.

He outlined the industries expected to be most affected by Brexit within Cumbria, with farming and tourism likely to see the most impact.

Armstrong Watson's Jim Meakin, partner and head of tax, and Alex Nicholson, VAT director, looked at the practical aspects of trading after Brexit based on both a no-deal and deal scenario, and discussed the opportunities and challenges faced both long term and short term.

Matthew Slessor, chartered financial planning consultant, gave an overview of the financial markets, which organisers said was reassuring, and predictions for investment opportunities both short term and long term post-Brexit.

The event ended with a panel Q&A and practical tips and advice to business owners to assist with the Brexit transition, with planning and preparation forming the key theme.

Mr Dickson said: “Whatever the final Brexit outcome, the main takeaway from today’s forum is that business owners must have an intricate understanding of how changes to our relationship with the EU will impact upon their business."

"By having a deeper understanding of the minutiae of your business, Cumbrian business owners will be much better placed to prosper and thrive, whatever the final solution.”

The second Business Owner Forum will be held at Carlisle Racecourse on Wednesday, June 5.

the theme is securing the future of your business and will feature Dean Van Leeuwen, futurist and international speaker on business strategy, to discuss speed of technological change, the disruptive forces shaping the world and how to respond.