Customs offers hands-on business advice

In conjunction with Business Link London East and The Big Small Business Initiative, two local business support groups, the event was held as part of a national programme aimed at boosting support and advice for small and medium-sized companies.

The free event at the International Hotel in Canary Wharf attracted 1,200 business people from private as well as public sector. The government has been continually attacked from all quarters about the strangle-hold that red tape is having on SMEs. In a bid to allay concerns, Customs has had to provide more support to ensure businesses comply with their legal obligations.

Carole Upshall, Customs’ deputy collector in London, said: ‘We want to provide businesses with help and advice enabling them to meet their legal obligations and succeed and flourish in their chosen professions.’

Experts and specialist teams from a variety of government departments were on hand at the event to provide help and advice on a range of topics, including VAT, importing and exporting and tariff classification.

Similar open days will take place over the year in Cumbria, Middlesborough, Southampton, Exeter and Cheshire.

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