South East small businesses encouraged to apply for Brexit Support Funding before 30 June deadline

With two weeks to go before the deadline, small and medium sized businesses in the South East are being encouraged to apply for funding to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU.

The £20m Brexit Support Fund, which closes 30 June, enables businesses who trade with the EU to access up to £2,000 of funding for practical support including training and professional advice on new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes.

Since launching in March, more than 12,000 businesses across the UK have registered for the fund. In the South East, 449 businesses have submitted applications, with a total of £657,271 in funding applied for so far.

Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, Directors General, Borders and Trade, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said:

“Smaller businesses who trade with the EU have a vital role in our economy and we understand they may have experienced a more challenging time than larger businesses in adapting to changes. We would encourage small and medium businesses impacted by new importing and exporting rules, to apply for funding today.”

To be eligible for the grant, businesses must have no more than 500 employees and turnover no more than £100m. They must only import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. If businesses already import or export goods to and from a non-EU country, they are not eligible.

More information on the fund and how to apply can be found on GOV.UK.

In addition to the funding, small and medium businesses can access specialist advice and support:

·        On the phone, by calling  helplines this includes a dedicated HMRC imports and exports enquiry service which is available via phone on 0300 322 9434 or via online webchat

·        Businesses can also sign up for webinars with policy specialists

·        Businesses can use the Brexit Checker Tool on GOV.UK which gives businesses a personalised list of actions that they need to take.

Additional support is available to businesses moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland through the Trader Support Service.