British Chambers award shortlisting for Business West’s Trading Through Brexit campaign

September 12, 2019

A pioneering campaign aimed at helping businesses across the West of England prepare for life after Brexit is in the running for a top national award.

Trading Through Brexit (TTB) was launched in October last year by Business West, the region’s largest business group and the organisation behind the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative. 

Realising that Brexit represents the single most radical transformation in the way that British companies trade for decades, Business West decided to provide an independent and unbiased subscription service for small and medium-sized businesses across all sectors to help with their preparations.

TTB is now in the running for the ‘Most Effective Campaigning’ award at the annual British Chambers of Commerce awards.

TTB centres on a regular video series fronted by Business West director of policy Matt Griffith, pictured below. These updates offer businesses up-to-the-minute practical planning advice as the Brexit story unfolds.

TTB subscribers are invited to send their most-pressing questions to the Business West policy team via the TTB hub, with answers on common issues shared among the business community by being posted on the site.

TTB has attracted more than 500 subscribers and 15,140 webpage visits in less than 12 months – proof, according to Business West, of a lack of clarity about the state of a Brexit deal and the demand for trusted, common sense business advice.

Business West described the impact of TTB on the SME business community in the South West as “significant”, with praised garnered from business leaders for helping them to “cut through the noise and get on with business as usual”.

Business West highlighted how one subscriber – aerospace and defence supplier Avon Valley Precision Engineering (AVPE) – had “gone from strength to strength” as a result of TTB. 

“Since engaging with Business West’s TTB team, AVPE have announced landmark investments in both capacity and skills to the tune of £750,000 and are now confident that they are prepared whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations,” said a Business West spokesman.

Mark Summers, managing director of AVPE, which is based in Bitton between Bristol and Bath. Said: “We asked Business West to help us better understand the potential impacts of Brexit on our business.

“All advice was comprehensive and Business West managed to disseminate detailed technical information into far more understandable layman’s terms. My team now have a far better grasp on the challenges we face and how we need to amend our internal processes and systems accordingly.”

Business West managing director Phil Smith, pictured below, added: “Business West has been the leading authority on business and Brexit in the South West since the referendum was announced in 2015. 

“As the voice of business for the region, we have been working tirelessly to ensure that businesses’ views are heard on the matter, so much so that we have attracted an audience share of over 17m in the process.

“Working side by side with the business community, our policy team has been instrumental in enabling businesses to prepare for Brexit throughout this period. The launch of TTB was, therefore, the natural next step, allowing more and more businesses to benefit from our advice online.

“I am delighted at the impact TTB has made to businesses in our region. The icing on the cake is that we are in the running for this prestigious British Chambers award.”

The British Chamber Awards will be presented at a gala dinner in London on November 28.




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