SME Brexit Support Fund

SME Brexit Support Fund
SME Brexit Support Fund

The UK government has unveiled their Brexit Support Grant scheme for small and medium businesses. SMEs in the UK can apply for a grant of up to £20000 to help cover the cost of advice about Brexit and for training to assist with adapting to the new trading rules brought in by the Withdrawal Agreement. If you’re an SME, you can apply through the Brexit Support Fund for your £2,000 grant to pay for this practical support. Your business could qualify for this grant if you have up to 500 employees, and your annual turnover does not exceed £100 million.

What is the SME Brexit Support Fund?

The SME Brexit Support Fund is a programme worth £20 million, announced by the government and facilitated through HMRC. If your business meets the eligibility criteria, you can apply for this funding to go towards the cost of training or professional advice to help your business understand the new post-Brexit trading rules between UK-EU.

How it Works

The SME Brexit Support Fund is being administered by PwC on behalf of HMRC. The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021 or earlier if the £20 million funding is allocated before the closing date.

The criteria for qualifying as an SME for this grant include:

  • Your business must be established within the UK.
  • You must have been established at least 12 months before you can apply. You can also qualify if you hold an ‘Authorised Economic Operator’ status.
  • You must not have failed to meet its tax or custom obligations in the past.
  • Your business should have no more than 500 employees.
  • Your annual turnover should not exceed £100 million.
  • This grant is only applicable for businesses that only import or export goods between GB-EU or moving goods between GB-NI. If your business is already importing or exporting goods to and from a non-EU country, you will not be eligible for the SME Brexit Support Fund.

As further criteria, your business must also:

  • Complete (or will be completing) import or export declarations internally for your own goods instead of using a third party.
  • Use a third party to oversee your import and export declarations, but you still need additional capability without your business to import or export effectively. These criteria could include understanding rules of origin or seeking advice on dealing with supply chain issues.

What Grants Are Available?

There are two types of grants, valued up to £2,000, that eligible traders can apply for:

  1. Grant for Training

You can put this grant towards training on completing relevant custom declarations correctly, including managing the customs processes. This training can also include how to use relevant software and systems relating to the customs processes. Another topic that the training can cover is specific import and export aspects of the new trading rules, including rules of origin and VAT.

  1. Grant for Professional Advice

This grant can be used to cover the cost of professional advice to help your business understand and meet the requirements concerning customs, excise, safety, and security declarations, and import VAT. It can cover the cost of consultancy advice and any cost associated with the delivery of this.

T&Cs of the SME Brexit Support Fund – Training Grant

If you qualify for a training grant, there are some conditions to your funding. You can not put your £2,000 grant towards any training which is not specifically related to the new trading rules regarding the EU. You cannot use it for other training, such as Health and Safety.

The training must be externally delivered, as internal training does not qualify under the terms of this grant. The cap per business or application is £2,000 – regardless of whether the training costs are higher than this amount. You cannot apply for the grant to cover the cost of a trainee while they undergo the course. Your training can be provided by any suitably qualified training professional. They do not have to have any accreditation or recommendation from PwC or HMRC.

The maximum amount you can claim per application is £2,000 across both training and professional advice. If you have claimed the £2,000 for training, you cannot re-apply for a further £2,000 for professional advice.

The time limit on qualifying expenditure is on or after 11 February 2021. Your expenditure must be evident when you make your submission for payment. Your payment claim, including your evidence, should be submitted within two calendar months of receiving your grant offer and by 31 August 2021 as the final submission date.

T&Cs of the SME Brexit Support Fund – Professional Advice Grant

Your professional advice grant cannot be used to cover consultancy costs regarding domestic tax obligations or for any business activity that is not related to the importing or exporting of goods between GB and EU. The consultancy advice must be externally delivered. The consultant must not be an employee – they are expected to be registered with HMRC and provide you with an invoice for their service.

While multiple applications can be made for both the professional advice and training grant, the total per applicant cannot exceed £2,000. Your qualifying expenditure should be made on 11 February 2021 or any date after that. It must be evidenced in full when you make your submission for your grant payment. This evidence must be submitted within two calendar months of receiving your grant offer, with 31 August 2021 being a hard deadline.

At FD Capital, we offer professional advice and assistance to help your business understand and implement the new UK-EU trading rules. You can use the funding provided by the SME Brexit Support Fund to put towards this work.

Do you need help understanding the new trading rules between the UK-EU? Call us today at 07528 969471. We can also help recruit a part-time Finance Director to help your business long term. FD Capital is also available to assist with other grant programmes, along with recruiting a Finance Director in London, the surrounding M25 area, and the West Midlands.

Recruiting an FD?  Are you looking for a Part-Time or Full-Time FD for your business

Make sure to reach out to FD Capital Recruitment today and we’ll find you the perfect candidate who can also help you find grants like the SME Brexit Support Fund.