Businesses are now much better prepared for Brexit, says Cumbria Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber ran the Are you ready for a no-deal Brexit? campaign throughout October.

The chamber employed four specialist advisers who engaged with almost 1,000 businesses while nearly 100 firms attended four Brexit workshops in Carlisle.

Almost 2,600 businesses visited the Brexit help pages on the chamber website and more than 2,100 downloaded podcasts or webinars on issues such as trade, employment, intellectual property and preparing for no-deal.

The campaign, paid for with cash from the Government’s Brexit Preparedness Fund, has now ended although the Brexit resources on the chamber website remain.

Rob Johnston, chamber chief executive, said: “When we carried out a Brexit-readiness survey at the start of the year, we found that fewer than half of businesses had started preparations.

“The situation has improved markedly in the last month. Businesses have a greater level of understanding of Brexit and many have put contingency measures in place.

“There would have been disruption if we had left the EU on October 31, as the Government intended, but the work we did would certainly have minimised the impact.

“The Brexit extension doesn’t prevent no-deal, it simply defers it until the end of January, so businesses that have prepared are in a strong position.

“The outcome of Brexit won’t become clearer until after the General Election.

"We’re currently in negotiation about offering more Brexit support going forward."