Could you benefit from the SME Brexit Support Fund?

14th May 2021

The SME Brexit Support Fund offers eligible businesses the chance to get a share of a £20m fund to help them adapt to changes they have had to face as a result of the UK leaving the EU. Find out how the fund works, who is eligible and how to apply in our guide.

could you benefit from the sme brexit support fund

What is the SME Brexit Support Fund?

Announced in February, the SME Brexit Support Fund is designed to support smaller businesses adapt to new tax and customs rules post-Brexit.

Many businesses which deal with the EU have faced struggles as they adapt to the new rules, with smaller companies the hardest hit. This is because new border control and customs processes mean additional paperwork, time and costs – a particular challenge for smaller, resource-poor businesses.

The Government has provided the fund to provide additional support to these businesses, stating that it recognises the importance they have for the prosperity of the UK’s economy.

Although some of the new rules are already in place, full import border control processes have been delayed until 1 January 2022 and SMEs who import or export goods between the UK and EU are being encouraged to apply for the fund to give themselves time to get ready.

Eligible businesses can apply for grants of up to £2,000 through two types of grants:

  • Training – to cover the costs of practical training on how to complete customs declarations, managing customs processes and systems, and specific import/export aspects (e.g. VAT, excise and rules of origin)
  • Professional advice – to cover the cost of professional advice on how your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT and security declaration requirements

Who is eligible?

Businesses can apply for the full £2,000 across one or both grants but must meet the eligibility criteria.

To apply, your business must:

  • Be based in the UK
  • Have been established for at least 12 months 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
  • Only import/export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland – businesses which import or export goods between Great Britain and a non-EU country are not eligible
  • Complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for your own goods OR use someone else to complete import or export declarations but require additional capability internally to effectively import or export (e.g. advice on rules of origin or advice on dealing with a supply chain)

How to apply for the SME Brexit Support Fund

The Fund is being administered through PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

Further details on eligibility criteria, the types of training you can get and how to apply can be found here.

Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date, so it’s a good idea to apply sooner rather than later if you intend to take advantage of one or both of the grants.

What else is available?

If your business requires further help adjusting to Brexit, the Government is offering additional support which may be helpful:

Talk to the experts

If you are a North East business trading with the EU and require further support, our friendly and professional team may be able to help. Get in touch to discuss your needs.

All information correct at time of going to print/live and on the best knowledge and understanding of the author at the time. This article is for general information only and does not constitute financial advice or recommendations for individual circumstances. No responsibility is taken for any actions taken on the base of the information within this article.

Chartered Accountants in Sunderland, offering expertise on everything from Tax and Business Planning,
to Accounts and VAT.