The SME Brexit Support Fund will open to applications imminently. To help your business secure vital support, here’s everything you need to know.
What is the SME Brexit Support Fund?
Announced this month, the £20 million fund is designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises with changes to trade rules with the EU, such as new customs procedures, rules of origin, and VAT.
It has been widely welcomed by industry bodies, including the Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Directors, and Logistics UK.
Who can apply?
A successful applicant will have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting an application, or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status, and:
- not have previously failed to meet its tax or customs obligations
- have no more than 500 employees
- have no more than £100 million turnover; and
- import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or moves goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The business should also:
- 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 much can I get?
SMEs can apply for grants of up to £2,000.
What can I spend the grant on?
The cash can be used to access specialist training and support on a range of topics, including:
- 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.
Notably, the grant can also be used to source professional advice so your business can “meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements” – meaning the grant could be used to offset some of your accounting costs.
How and when can I apply?
The SME Brexit Support Fund will be administered through the pre-existing Customs Grant Scheme and will open for applications from March. We will notify you as soon as the application stage is open.