An online tool is being launched to help businesses “put the certainty into Brexit planning”.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC), Black Country Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) and Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce (C&WCC) have joined together to launch the Business Brexit Health Check.
The free online tool helps businesses find information on how Brexit may impact their organisation, tailored to answers they provide in a questionnaire.
After completing the questionnaire, which asks firms questions on export, import, recruitment and compliance, businesses receive a personalised report which includes suggested steps for preparing for Brexit related risks or taking up opportunities.
Information provided via the tool will be a source of intelligence for the WMCA and Chambers on how businesses are impacted in preparing for Brexit.
Data from the report will be used anonymously to shape policy responses and highlight of business support available in the area.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “In order for businesses across the West Midlands to make a success of Brexit they need accurate, up-to-date, and easily understood information.
“Big businesses will have the resources and technical expertise to understand Brexit’s implications – but small businesses, charities, and many other organisations do not.
“That is why the WMCA has joined forces with the three chambers of commerce to release the Business Brexit Health Check tool, which will help put the certainty into Brexit planning.”
Paul Faulkner, chief executive at the GBCC, said: “Many businesses I speak to are baffled, burned out or just plain bored when it comes to Brexit.
“The Business Brexit Health Check aims to help businesses cut through the noise and confusion surrounding Brexit and find the information of most direct relevance to them.
“So far a previous GBCC version of the tool has been used by more than 200 businesses in Greater Birmingham.
“This new and improved West Midlands wide tool can be used by even more businesses across the length and breadth of the region.
“Brexit remains the largest fundamental shift to the UK’s trading relationships for a generation. But unlike previous potential shocks to the system – we can see this one coming.
“It is hugely important that businesses understand essential information on Brexit, how it may impact them and what they can do about it>"
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have been keeping businesses across the patch informed of the latest developments ever since the referendum.
“We’ve also listened to companies’ concerns and issues and have fed those back to Westminster.
“However there are still far too many companies that have not done any scenario planning and it is crucial that these businesses use the next few months to understand how the different Brexit scenarios could affect them and plan accordingly.
“The Business Brexit Health Check can help identify areas of risk and fast track companies to the right support.”
Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce said: “Chambers of Commerce across the West Midlands have done some fantastic work around Brexit since 2016 in their respective geographies.
“To be able to work with our Combined Authority partners on a bespoke Brexit support package is genuinely exciting.
“It is imperative that businesses are consistently aware of what Brexit means for them. That means continuing our good work of engaging with government, promoting our useful literature and ensuring that our messages accurately represent the feeling on the ground.
“In terms of the Business Brexit Health Check, this a fantastic tool to find out what the key issues facing our businesses are, but also to ensure that we are providing support in the right areas.
“From customs facilitations to intellectual property rights and the employment of EU-born staff to VAT payments, we will be working hard to ensure that businesses in the Black Country are as well prepared as is possible for the UK’s departure from the EU.”
To find out more or to access the Business Brexit Health Check, visit www.wmca.org.uk/brexithealthcheck