Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday brief.
While physical events are still on hold, we have a number of virtual events and webinars to tell you about. The first is a round table discussion from the MTA and some of its associate members. This discussion will talk about funding options for members and their customers, with a particular focus on CBILs which are set to end on 31st March. Join us next Tuesday to find out how your business can take advantage.
Our Business support partner Croner are also holding a series of webinars on various HR and COVID-19 related topics, dates and details of these can be found below.
The National Physical Laboratory are also opening their new mechanical test facility on 16th February. If you’d like to join them for this webinar then you can register for free below.
Registration for COVID-19 testing at firms goes live this week with employees at work, who are NOT displaying symptoms able to get lateral flow tests. See if you meet the criteria and details on how to register for the services below.
The draft CEN CWA 'Guidelines for Traditional Micro-SMEs' GDPR compliance’ has been developed and is now available for public commenting on the CEN and CENELEC websites. To get involved see the story below or contact Sami Ortiz via firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Brexit news this week, we have a message from the Secretary of State for BEIS concerning rules of origin and , in the light of questions we have been receiving, some of these links may be of use to MTA members. Rules of Origin concerns where a product was manufactured and determines the ‘economic nationality’ of a good for international trade. Businesses need to know about them because the Trade and Cooperation Agreement means they can trade with the EU without paying tariffs - but only if their product meets the relevant Rules of Origin. Further details below.
HMRC have also provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the new trade rules across three subject areas; who can help complete Customs processes, accounting for VAT when located in the UK and exporting goods to EU customers, and accounting for VAT when sending goods from the UK to customers in the EU.
The main economic headlines this week were the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) figures for manufacturing. The UK saw its reading slip from the December level but only to a still healthy level of 54.1; however, it would have been lower but for the distortion from lengthening supply chains - this is interpreted as being positive as it is normally a sign of increased business but it is currently being caused by delays in shipping and the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. Elsewhere, there is a mixture of trends both between and within the regions of the world and we explore that in the article this week.
The only other economic news this week was the first estimate of GDP growth in the EU for the 4th quarter of 2020; overall there was a contraction of the economy but, again, there are mixed trends between the countries that have published this data (the equivalent figures for the UK will be out next Friday).
A reminder also that the MTA Business Survey for January is open for your input at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-jan21 and we would encourage all members to participate in this important survey – it should only take a couple of minutes.
That’s all for this week. We wish you a safe and enjoyable weekend!