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Chamber spotlight on Brexit funding and support

31 July 2020

With five months to go until the end of the Brexit transition period, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) are providing support and connecting businesses to funding to fuel their preparations.

A digital event, Deals, Deadlines & Departures: Navigating Brexit Transition will take place on the 26 August (11am-noon) and will explore:

  • Progress on new UK-led trade deals and Brexit talks
  • What no-regret actions businesses can take now to get ready for the new year
  • The opportunities as well as the challenges for businesses

It will feature a mix of Brexit experts and businesses sharing their experiences. Find out more and register here.

Speakers include Clare Francis, partner at Pinsent Masons.  She specialises in commercial law and is Head of Brexit Advisory and leads the firm’s coronavirus task force assisting businesses in responding to the pandemic.

Clare also advises on business-critical projects ranging from contractual joint ventures, business outsourcings to wholesale contract portfolio reviews - often providing innovative solutions to complex problems.

She works primarily on projects for clients in the manufacturing and public sectors and is working with clients to help them plan and prepare for Brexit and to mitigate the impact it will have on their businesses. 

She has been instrumental in innovating the firm’s Brexit contracting solutions technology solution, which focuses on helping clients understand their contract exposure, assess risk in the supply chain and future-proof existing arrangements.

Also speaking is Professor Alex De Ruyter, director of the Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University. He is a professor at Birmingham City University and brings a wealth of research experience and academic engagement in the areas of globalisation, regional economic development, labour market and social exclusion issues.

He has published more than 60 academic outputs in leading national and international economic journals and has been the recipient of research funding, including work for the West Midland Combined Authority on understanding the supply chain implications of Brexit on the automotive and aerospace sectors in the Midlands.

The GBCC have also produced a range of  bite-sized Brexit videos aimed at briefing businesses on what  will change following the Brexit transition period- click here for the YouTube playlist.

Earlier this week, the Government made an additional £50m in funding available for  customs intermediaries to increase their capacity to make declarations ahead of 2021.

Businesses directly importing and exporting from and to the EU from 1January 2021 will be required to meet new customs and border requirements, including customs declarations.

The GBCC’s international business hub is providing a range of digital training courses and support to help businesses understand and adapt to the new trading environment.

For more detail on GBCC training courses click here. For more information on what will change for businesses from the 1 January 2021 and how to prepare click here for GBCC briefings and guides.

The GBCC international director Mandy Haque (pictured) said: “With only five months to go it is not too late to get your business prepared for leaving the EU. Whatever your challenge or opportunity that Brexit presents, there is expertise here at the international department of the GBCC to help you on your international journey.

“Customs declarations for many businesses will be a new concept and here at the Chamber the documentation team can guide businesses through this. The department also provides training to help upskill importers and exporters in the new requirements that Brexit brings.

“With HMRC’s funding extended to support businesses to upskill international traders in all areas of customs procedures, there is no better time than to take advantage of the opportunity.”  

Henrietta Brealey, director of policy and strategic relationships, said: “2020 has already been an exceptionally disruptive year for businesses. With the continued pace of government announcements and interventions, it can be hard for organisations to keep track of what’s happening with Brexit negotiations, trade deals and support.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for businesses by translating developments in to what they mean, in practical terms, for our members and giving them access to support and peer learning opportunities.  

“Over the coming months, we will continue to focus on the knowns of Brexit and what no-regret steps businesses can take now to prepare for the end of the transition period.

“We will also continue to advocate for our members both in terms of the need for the government to secure a trade deal and minimal further disruption as we emerge from this challenging period, and invest in direct support and funding for the most impacted.”

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