A new £20m SME Brexit Support Fund offers grants of up to £2,000 to SMEs to give them the practical support they need to adjust to the new EU trading rules

The fund is available to help with training and professional advice for businesses with up to 500 employees and no more than £100m in annual turnover. HMRC says the fund is needed because “changes to customs rules have been challenging for small and micro-businesses”.

What can you use the grant for?

You can use the grant for training on:

  • how to complete customs declarations
  • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems
  • specific import and export-related aspects, including VAT, excise and rules of origin

The grant can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.

Who can apply?

To apply, your business must:

  • be established in the UK and have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting the application (or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status)
  • not have previously failed to meet its tax or customs obligations
  • have no more than 500 employees and no more than £100m turnover
  • import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or moves goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Your business must also either:

  • complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for its own goods
  • use someone else to complete import or export declarations but requires additional capability internally to effectively import or export (such as advice on rules of origin or advice on dealing with a supply chain)

How and when to apply

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC.

Applications close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date. For this reason, we suggest you make your application as soon as possible. Applications can be made here. 

The fund has been praised by industry leaders, with Jon Geldart, Director-General, Institute of Directors, saying he “commends the government for stepping in” to pay for the cost of accessing the professional advice they need.

Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses National Chairman, said, “it’s brilliant to see the funding go live” and help SMEs with “new, unfamiliar paperwork”.

If you would like to discuss the SME Brexit Support Fund, please call us on 020 7625 4545 or email us at info@mgr.co.uk

Warning: The above is merely general guidance and should not be relied upon as formal advice. The advice we give to each client will depend on their specific circumstances. We suggest you take professional advice before taking any action in relation to the issues discussed above.