As we head towards the Christmas and new year period, many business owners from across the county will be continuing to put measures in-place ahead of what will be a challenging period for our business community.
Coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation during 2020 and will cause concern and disruption to businesses of all sizes for the foreseeable future. In addition – as the UK transition period comes to end – the county’s businesses will have to make a number of changes to ensure a continued flow of people, data, goods and services between the UK and the EU.
We will work hard to make sure our business community – in-light of the pandemic and the conclusion of the UK transition period – are supported to be both resilient and productive in the lead-up to Christmas and as we enter 2021, it is our aim to ensure our businesses are well-prepared, directing them to effective support, whether our own support or indeed Government or partner-led support.
With this in mind, here’s a summary of the support we are encouraging Oxfordshire businesses to consider during the upcoming festive period and beyond.
UK transition-specific support:
With the UK exiting the European Union, it's key for Oxfordshire businesses to check the new rules that will come into operation from 1 January 2021 and to take action now.
These actions are required for Oxfordshire businesses:
- If you sell goods to the EU you must prepare for new customs procedures
- If you travel to the EU for work purposes you will need to check if you need a visa or work permit and apply if necessary
- If you employ overseas nationals you will need to prepare your business for the implementation of the new immigration system
- If you are a UK business or organisation that receives personal data from contacts in the EEA, you may need to take extra steps to ensure that the data can continue to flow legally at the end of the transition period
- If you provide services in the EU, you must ensure that your qualifications are now recognised by EU regulations to be able to practice or service clients in the EU
Alongside this, Oxfordshire businesses can benefit from a number of webinars too - created alongside partnering growth hubs - offering advice across several key areas, including tariffs, customs and supply chain management.
COVID-19 specific support:
Take a look at the latest COVID-19 related Government support, including sector-focused help for businesses.
The peer networks programme brings together cohorts of business leaders so they can discuss business challenges with their peers.
Delivered through a series of group sessions, businesses gain and reflect valuable feedback from peers and identify practical solutions to overcome business challenges. Businesses will then choose which coach, mentor or business advisor to work with to further explore solutions to your challenge.
Business support tool:
Through the business support tool, businesses can complete a simple online form and receive a bespoke business support plan, aimed at coming up with practical solutions to challenges currently faced:
The eScalate programme supports growing businesses that have scale-up potential. It also supports SMEs that are social enterprise, social entrepreneurs, enterprising charities and other purposeful businesses committed to enabling positive social and environmental impact.
Innovation Support for Business (ISfB):
ISfB is a programme designed to drive and commercialise the innovative business ideas of Oxfordshire's SMEs and entrepreneurs.
Skills for Business:
Skills for Business provides practical support to small to medium-sized businesses to identify and evaluate their skills and learning needs including upskilling current staff.