Small businesses can now apply for up to £2,000 in funding to help them trade overseas following the launch of the Brexit Support Fund.
The £20 million scheme, operated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), enables traders to access specialist training to help them adapt to new customs and tax processes, such as rules of origin and VAT.
Announced in February, the scheme comes in response to concerns that the “vast majority” of small businesses who trade overseas do so only with the EU – meaning that most traders are unfamiliar with complex international trade rules introduced at the end of the transition period.
To support traders during this time, the SME Brexit Support Fund will provide non-repayable grants of up to £2,000 per business to pay for essential support, such as specialist training and professional advice – including accountant’s fees.
To apply, your business must move goods between Great Britain and the EU or Northern Ireland; be established in the UK for at least 12 months or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status; have no more than 500 employees and turnover no more than £100 million; and have not previously failed to meet its tax or customs obligations.
Launching the programme, Katherine Green, of HM Revenue and Customs (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.”
Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses National Chairman, added: “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.”
For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our expert Brexit advisory team today.