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From today, small businesses can apply for grants of up to £2,000 in order to help them navigate new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU.
Jane Imrie

£20m government fund launched to support SMEs with post-Brexit trading

A new multi-million pound government fund has launched today (March 15) in a bid to support SMEs with international trade.

The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund aims to enable traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes.

From today, small businesses can apply for grants of up to £2,000 in order to help them navigate new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU.

Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, directors general of borders and trade at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), commented: We recognise that changes to customs rules have been challenging for small and micro businesses, and this is why we are encouraging business owners to apply for support through the SME Brexit Support Fund.

“We do not take for granted that the UK’s small businesses – from designers creating bespoke handmade pieces from their kitchen tables, to those selling sweet treats – are vital to the growth and prosperity of our economy.

“We look forward to supporting them with practical help to do business with our European partners, on top of a wide range of support available from the government.

Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses’ national chairman, added: “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.

“That’s why we asked the government for targeted funding to help them navigate these fresh demands, and it’s brilliant to see that funding go live today. We encourage all eligible small businesses to take a look and apply for this new source of help.”

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