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Black Country Chamber of Commerce News

Black Country Chamber of Commerce News (405)

Corin CraneThe Government has promised to fast-track the application process for EU citizens who want to stay in the UK after Brexit, which will see decisions being made within “a matter of days” according to the Home Office.

Opening on a phased basis later this year, applications can be made online or via Android mobile phones, costing £65 per adult and half that price for children. Upon approval, EU citizens will then be issued with an ID number, which they will be required to use for public services such as the NHS and possibly employment and property rental checks.

BCCCA17 006Black Country Chamber of Commerce are delighted to announce that the Rotary Club of Dudley are supporting their Young Person or Apprentice of the Year Award as part of their 2018 Annual Awards.

The Award itself recognises exceptional young employees (aged 24 years or under), who may have overcome personal barriers or are making a difference within their respective organisation. In addition, the Rotary Club will be donating a cash prize of £1,000 to the winner of the Award, to be used as a contribution towards their personal development during their apprenticeship.

BCCCA17 213The application deadline for the Black Country Chamber of Commerce Awards 2018 is now less than 2 weeks away, with businesses from across the region being encouraged to submit their entries by midnight on Friday 29th June.

With 10 categories for which you can apply, these Awards are an ideal platform to showcase your company and celebrate your success, as the Chamber seek to recognise those who uphold standards of excellence and innovation within their organisation.

Platinum Group New MembersBlack Country Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce two companies in West Bromwich have joined The Platinum Group.

Vacuum & Atmosphere Services Ltd have joined The Platinum Group and SIPS Education Limited are the latest edition to The Platinum Group Service Sector.

Corin CraneCommenting on the trade statistics and key short-term indicators for April 2018, published this week by the ONS, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “While there was a slight monthly pick-up in construction output, the longer-term trends confirm continued weakness, and together with the widening in the UK’s trade deficit and weakening industrial output, point to a bleak start to the second quarter. While we still expect that UK GDP growth will pick-up in Q2, as economic activity rebounds from the bad weather in Q1, growth is likely to remain under pressure in the medium term.

“The deterioration in the UK’s trade position in April is a concern and means that the UK’s trade deficit remains significantly higher than the historical average. This deterioration largely reflects a marked decline in exports in the month. 

May saw a mild improvement in the performance of the UK manufacturing sector. The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS PMI, rose to 54.4, up slightly from April’s 17-month low of 53.9, signalling growth for the twenty-second straight month.

Growth of incoming new business remained solid in May, but the pace of expansion eased to an 11- month low. The slower trend reflected a softer increase in new work from the domestic market, as inflows of new business from overseas strengthened slightly.

Corin CraneThe Black Country is home to a large population of manufacturers reliant upon a stable global metals market; the world-class components made across the region mean the supply of quality, economically viable steel is imperative. Currency fluctuations are already a major concern for businesses reliant on steel imports, and yesterday’s announcement will only worsen that. Black Country businesses will clearly now face excessive time and cost increases when importing and exporting these materials.

Commenting following the US government announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the EU, Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce said: “Many businesses will be concerned by the President’s announcement on steel and aluminium tariffs. The Black Country’s densely populated, high-value manufacturing sector will be concerned about the potential effects on job security in our region.

Corin CraneBlack Country Chamber of Commerce are delighted to announce that they have recently signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge initiative, demonstrating their commitment to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds, and highlighting the organisation’s work towards improving social mobility.

The Pledge asks employers to partner with a local school to help young people gain knowledge and experience of the workplace; provide work experience and/or apprenticeships; and adopt open recruitment practices to provide a level playing field for potential job applicants. British Chambers of Commerce are a partner of the initiative, led by Justine Greening MP, to encourage businesses to become ‘Social Mobility Pledge’ accredited employers.  

BCCCAG15 007Today (25th May) marks the official implementation day for GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which has been implemented to enhance privacy for all individuals across the European Union, including the EEA countries. Another primary motive of the implementation is to further the control that citizens have over their personal data and how it is used by data collectors.

The management and protection of sensitive data has been headline news in recent weeks, particularly with Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg facing questioning from the US Government and European Parliament on how Facebook harvest users data. Companies who are GDPR compliant must be able to prove that they only store data which is relevant and for a limited period.

Following an overwhelming reaction from the Black Country to its first business festival, the dates for next year’s annual fortnight have been set as 13 May to 24 May 2019.

Established by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, the Business Festival ran for the first time from 23 April to 4 May. Over 100 business events of all sizes and descriptions took place during the fortnight, attended by more than 4,200 people - a remarkable 13 per cent of whom came from outside the Black Country.

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