Courts’ visit celebrated the success of SMB Bearings’ growth; however, they took the opportunity to quiz Courts on his recommendations for businesses during the uncertain time of Brexit. The company has grown exponentially since its inception 30 years ago, having developed a niche for supplying and distributing miniature, thin section and stainless-steel bearings.

SMB Bearings now boasts a 5000 square ft. facility in Courts’ Witney constituency, on the Ventura Business Park in Carterton, Oxfordshire, after recently expanding its facility to include a relubrication processing room with proprietary equipment and additional staff. SMB Bearings spotted a gap in the market for small batch bearing relubrication during its early years.

As the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Small and Micro-businesses, Courts praised SMB Bearings’ ability to maintain a niche product offering during such rapid business growth.However, SMB Bearings relies on exporting for around 60 per cent of its business, 40 per cent of which is within the EU. This means the company has had to implement changes to accommodate any outcome of Brexit.

“We’re currently undergoing examinations to achieve Authorised Economic Operator for Customs (AEOC) status,” explained Chris Johnson, managing director of SMB Bearings. “The certification allows us to import and export more efficiently by ensuring our supply chain is secure and that our customer procedures are compliant.

“The quality mark is beneficial but could prove to be even more valuable depending on the outcome of Britain’s Brexit deal. Currently, exporters like ourselves have no idea how detrimental Brexit will be on our businesses. Without guidance from Government, it is vital that we begin to take steps to cover our own backs.”

Courts explained in response: “Businesses should expect greater clarity within the next six months. Naturally, we want to see close trading links between Britain and the European Union. A deal whereby we can trade and cooperate with each other as equals would enable us to maintain a properly accountable democratic Government.”

If your business needs advice on the Brexit technical notices, you can use the EEF hotline on 0808 168 5874.

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