Sponsored editorial. New rules, new opportunities for businesses

March 19, 2021

Many businesses across the West of England are facing uncertainty and challenges that could not have been foreseen a year ago when the pandemic hit our economy and livelihoods.

With our new relationship with Europe, we also know that doing business with Europe has changed. This has meant adapting to new ways of working and dealing with new regulations and processes. 

With new rules and new ways of working, there will be adjustments to be made, but we also know that evolution and adaption in the face of change is critical to business’ resilience and growth. Can you look past the challenges and focus on the opportunities it brings for businesses?

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has mapped four key areas that present growth opportunities for you and other regional SMEs:

  1. Keep your ideas your own and protect business growth with Intellectual Property (IP). Did you know that your IP assets can be integral to the growth and sustainability of your business? When properly managed, the value of your IP can far outweigh physical assets, accounting for over 70% of your business’s value.
  2. Dream big with trade, import and export with the EU and other global markets. The opportunities for business growth and expansion with trade are huge. But if you’re thinking about trading with the EU, or want to continue trading, there are new rules you need to follow for importing and exporting. This also includes changes to processes and licensing.
  3. Let’s talk digital – it’s all about data protection. It’s vitally important to safeguard and protect the flow of your business data. We’re referring the potential impact on personal data, GDPR and cyber security here. If you want to jump on the opportunities that e-Commerce and trade can bring to your business, we’ll guide you and help assess your data protection commitments.
  4. Make a positive impact on your bottom line with service provision to EU markets. Did you know the UK services sector accounts for nearly 80% of the UK’s GDP and employs four in five workers across the country? UK businesses in a variety of service sectors can continue to access the EU market, including as business travellers and cross-border services suppliers or investors.

Businesses need to be flexible and adapt now. You will need to follow new rules on export, import, tariffs, data and hiring. WECA and its dedicated business support service the Growth Hub is here to help you navigate the rule changes and find new opportunities so you can future-proof and grow your business.

One of WECA’s key ambitions is to rebuild business, helping new and existing businesses to survive and thrive. We’re providing increased support which you can find through the Growth Hub.

WECA has also released a Business Support Guide which contains guidance on everything from business grants to the extensive range of support programmes now available.


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