24.3.2021 | Brexit

Brexit support fund opens

£20m fund live for small businesses to adapt to EU customs and tax rules.

Smaller businesses are now able to apply for grants of up to £2,000 to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU.

The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund, launched on 15th March, enables traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes.

Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, directors-general, Borders and Trade for HMRC said:

“We recognise that changes to customs rules have been challenging for small and micro businesses, and this is why we are encouraging business owners to apply for support through the SME Brexit Support Fund.

“Small and medium-sized businesses that trade solely with the EU – and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes – are encouraged to apply for the grants.”

The fund, announced in February by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, is the latest round of government support for UK trade.

To be eligible, businesses must import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

This follows the government setting out a new timetable for introducing import border control processes to enable UK businesses to focus on their recovery. Full import border control processes will now be introduced on 1st January 2022, six months later than originally planned.

Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses national chairman, said: “The vast majority of UK small firms that do business overseas trade with the EU. Not only are they trying to stay afloat as lockdowns gradually ease, they now have new, unfamiliar paperwork and costs to navigate when they buy from or sell to, Europe.

“We encourage all eligible small businesses to take a look and apply for this new source of help.”

More information about the SME Brexit Support Fund, including details on how to apply can be found here.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC and applications will close on 30th June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date.

Source: gov.uk