Brexit trade challenges? Support is available

Are the changes to doing business with the EU following the UK’s departure causing you headaches?

Help is at hand. You may be eligible for grant support to help you tackle the new customs and tax rules around imports and exports.

The government’s new £20million SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice.

The scheme is now open to smaller business that have up to 500 employees and no more than £100million annual turnover.

To be eligible, businesses must import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Traders can apply for up to £2,000 in total through two types of grants.

Grant for Training: These grants can be used to provide training on the following:

• 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

Grant for Professional Advice: This can be used to get advice, so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC.

Applications will close on June 30 this year, or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date.

For more details an eligibility and to apply online please visit: https://www.customsintermediarygrant.co.uk/sme-brexit-support-fund

Mike Cherry, who chairs the national Federation of Small Businesses, is urging firms to apply.

He says: “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.”