Regional Chambers of Commerce and West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) are stepping up their free support to help businesses prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period.
The WMCA, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC), Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce (C&WCC) and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) are working together to scale up existing support.
The programme, available between this month and February, 2021, gives local businesses access to:
- Fully-funded places on a choice of 24 accredited and non-accredited high quality international trade-focused training courses.
- 15 free webinars featuring guest experts on all aspects of preparing for 2021, including intellectual property, data protection and immigration.
- One-to-one support with customs and export documentation-related queries.
- Digital resources, including business briefings, checklists and videos on key topics
Businesses can find out more about the support available by clicking here.
The UK left the EU on the 31 January, 2020, and entered a transition period during which nothing has changed practically for businesses. This transition period will end on the 31 December, 2020, and the New Year will bring a significant number of changes for businesses across trade with the EU, employing non-UK citizens and more.
The UK and EU are currently undertaking negotiations on a potential trade deal. Both sides agree that in order for it to be implemented by the New Year, agreement needs to be reached in October. The UK has ruled out requesting any extension to negotiations.
The UK government has released guidance on a number of areas, including the UK’s immigration system, border operating model and import tariffs post-Brexit.
Paul Faulkner, chief executive at the GBCC, said: “Brexit remains the biggest fundamental change to the UK’s political and trading relationships for a generation, and the end of the transition period is coming hot on the heels of another once-in-a-generation event – the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are looking forward to working together with our fellow chambers and the WMCA to make it as straightforward as possible for businesses to get to grips with and adapt to key changes to come.
“The next two months in particular are pivotal for businesses to get clarity on what will (or will not) be in a UK-EU trade deal. We are going to be here for businesses every step of the way with the latest advice, guidance and what it means for them as we all get ready for 2021.”
Louise Bennett, C&WCC chief executive, said: “It is critical that local businesses explore and understand the impact of the EU transition on their business, whether they import or export or, maybe, sit in a supply chain of import/export that could affect their goods in and out of their business.
“The Chambers of Commerce in the West Midlands, working with the West Midlands Combined Authority and Elected Mayor, are here to help and offer advice and support on export and customs documentation and more.”
Corin Crane, the BCCC’s chief executive added: “Following months of trade deal discussions between British, EU negotiators and prospective new trading partners, most British business leaders continue to worry about the limited progress made and the consequences of no deals or partially formed agreements.
“This collaboration ensures that support is out there for our importers and exporters with the most relevant and timely detail provided to ensure that West Midland companies are able to navigate the trading landscape following the end of the transition agreement.”
Photo Credits: Birmingham Chamber