News

12 Feb 2021

Cash fund for businesses dealing with Brexit rule changes

A £20 million cash fund has been made available to help small and medium businesses (SMEs) adjust to new trading rules in post-Brexit Britain.

The Government announced the SME Brexit Support Fund to help businesses adjust to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU.

SMEs who trade only with the EU and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for each trader to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU.

This announcement follows extensive engagement with individual businesses, leading business organisations and trade associations from across all parts of the UK, including through the Brexit Business Taskforce.

Chaired by Michael Gove the weekly meetings provided an opportunity to identify challenges and find solutions to outstanding issues. To provide SMEs with additional support, the fund will be administered through the pre-existing Customs Grant Scheme and will open for applications next month.

It has been set up to support businesses prepare for the new import controls coming into force from April and July, as set out in the Border Operating Model. The new import controls will be introduced in three stages up to July 1, 2021, to allow traders and hauliers time to adjust to new processes. This means businesses do not have to complete new import declarations for up to six months, unless they are moving controlled goods.

Bira's CEO, Andrew Goodacre said: “We welcome the Brexit Support Fund and we hope it will be a simple application and approval process."

Read the Government's full statement here.


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