In response to the demand for further resources to support SMEs, the link below is a toolkit aimed at SMEs to help identify the decisions and actions needed to continue trading with the EU and the EFTA.

This link below provides an overview of actions to take, outlines support, helplines and resources that may be useful for SMEs, as well as signposting to more detailed guidance on the Government website.

Click here for the complete toolkit.

There are new rules in place for business travel to Europe for work.

Whether you’re attending a conference or providing services, new rules apply. You will need to check the rules for each of the European Member States that you will visit. Common travel area rights are unaffected. If you are a British or Irish citizen you can work and live in the UK or Ireland without needing additional permission.

This explainer document contains more information on entry requirements, luggage, earnings, qualifications, and insurance pertaining to business travel.

For the full explainer document, please click here.

QANW the record straight around consumer protections schemes and explains what contractors need to check when they are looking for policies.

The world of consumer protection isn’t always clear, especially if you start looking into the small print and disclaimers. Generally, we take what we are sold at face value.

Unfortunately, there are some organisations who use smoke and mirror tactics to sell ‘consumer protection’ that when it comes down to it, offers very little financial protection for homeowners or certainty for contractors.

Know Your Policy

When you’re looking for protection for your customer, the key thing to remember is to make sure that you are dealing with a UK Authorised Insurer offering a genuine insurance policy. If your scheme only talks about ‘guarantees’ rather than ‘insurance’ they may not be insuring your risk with a bona fide policy in favour of your customer. It is always worth checking with your provider if this is the case.

Confidence for Consumers

It comes down to the value of your reputation. Do you know what your financial protection actually offers your customers when you decide to retire, or start working with someone else? An Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG) gives your customers complete confidence that their home improvement investment is properly protected. And that’s something you should be shouting about.

At QANW, it’s our mission change that ‘murky’ world of consumer protection into one that’s easy to understand and offers better protection for both consumers and the roofing industry.

Find out more at www.qanw.co.uk

The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, announced to Parliament on Monday 22 February, the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England.

It published a four-step roadmap to ease restrictions across England and provide a route back to a more normal way of life. Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step, against four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage:

  • Step 1— no earlier than 8 March* – return to face-to-face education in schools and colleges; the Stay-at-Home requirement will remain, but people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household. Further limited changes from 29 March, the Stay-at-Home order will end, although many lockdown restrictions will remain, Rule of six or two households outdoors allowed; outdoor sport and leisure facilities open, organised outdoor sport allowed.
  • Step 2 – no earlier than 12 April* – Non-essential retail and personal care open; hospitality outdoors open; indoor leisure (gyms and swimming pools) open and self-contained holiday accommodation open. Event pilots begin. 
  • Step 3 – no earlier than 17 May* – Gatherings of over 30 people remain illegal; outdoor performances such as outdoor cinemas, and outdoor theatres can reopen. Indoors, the rule of 6 or 2 households will apply; indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen. International travel will be subject to review.
  • Step 4 – no earlier than 21 June* – No legal limits on social contact, reopening the remaining closed settings like Nightclubs, and larger events, no legal limit on all live events (all subject to review).

The decision on each stage will be based on data not dates, and government will move cautiously to keep infection rates under control.

For further information click here.

* Earliest possible date

The Information Commissioner’s Officer has produce a new Data Sharing Code of Practice, which provides clear guidance for organisations and businesses on how to share data lawfully.

In summary, this is a statutory code of practice prepared under section 121 of the Data Protection Act 2018. It is a practical guide for organisations about how to share personal data in a way that complies with data protection law. Its aim is to give organisation the confidence to share data fairly and proportionately.

There are also new tools, such as a data sharing checklist and templates, to organisations further.

For further information click here.

Funding for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them modernise, go digital and create new jobs.

  • SMEs across England to benefit from £8 million to adopt cutting-edge, digital technology
  • Projects supported to date include the world’s first smart black pudding factory and adopting 3D printing for stop-motion animated puppets
  • New funding will help businesses build back better by increasing productivity and reducing emissions

The funding, part of the government’s Made Smarter Adoption programme, will support up to 1,000 small and medium sized manufacturers, across the North West, North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands regions, in adopting digital technology.

To find out more about the programme, click here.

The new service can help search for the goods and services needed when applying to register a UK trademark.

When applying to register a UK trademark, you may use the UK classification system to specify the goods and/or services you are seeking protection for.

This service will allow you to search for the goods and services you intend to use your trademark on before you apply.

For further details, click here.

The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund, offers support to help small businesses adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU.

SMEs who trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, can apply for grants of up to £2,000, to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU.

Eligibility: The SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 if your business has up to 500 employees, and no more than £100 million annual turnover.

For more information on the SME Brexit Support Fund, click here.

Full guidance on how you can use the grant, who can apply and how to apply, click here.

The Better Regulation Executive would like to invite small businesses to take part in a short research session to share what businesses are struggling with when trying to implement business regulations. You’ll receive an incentive for taking part.

If you’d like to know more, or take part please contact: isobel@dxw.com

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are looking for people who work in or own a small business in the UK food retail sector to participate in a research study about business regulations and compliance. We are looking for restaurants, cafes, takeaways, catering businesses, food stalls, food delivery etc.

We would love to speak to people, who work in small businesses and are responsible for making sure their company is compliant with relevant business regulations. Sessions will be conducted over video call and last approximately 1 hour.

If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form. Participants who are invited to research sessions will receive a £50 voucher after the completion of their session.