The Government has launched a £20m fund to help small and medium sized businesses adjust to changes to trade regulations with the European Union as a result of Brexit.
SME’s 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.
The grant is to be used to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU.
Applications to the fund will open in March.
To provide SME’s with additional support, the fund will be administered through the pre-existing Customs Grant Scheme.
Michael Gove, the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said: “This new targeted funding will see small businesses get more of the practical support they need to adjust to the new processes and prepare for further changes as we implement our own import controls in April and July.”
Mike Cherry, National Chair at the Federation of Small Businesses, commented: Today’s announcement is very significant. Small businesses, often with few cash reserves, are for the first time facing complex new customs processes, VAT requirements and rules of origin.
“While many have come to FSB for help, we have been asking for proper financial assistance of this scale, so that a cash-strapped small business can afford to buy-in expertise, training and practical support. The new fund will make a significant difference, and we are pleased that Ministers have really engaged with us on this, and come up with an excellent response.”