Chloe Shakesby

Government launches £20m SME support fund as Brexit impacts import rules

The government has today announced that it is launching a £20m support fund for SMEs adjusting to new Brexit rules.

Today (February 11), Michael Gove has announced a £20m SME Brexit Support Fund to support small and medium sized businesses adjust to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU.

The fund has been created ahead of new import controls which will come into effect in April and July this year following Britain’s departure from the European Union.

Michael Gove commented: “The government has listened carefully to the issues raised by the business community through the Brexit Business Taskforce and that’s why we are bringing forward this financial support to help small businesses adapt to the changes to our trading relationship with the EU.

“This new targeted funding will see small businesses get more of the practical support they need to adjust to the new processes and prepare for further changes as we implement our own import controls in April and July.

“Together we will seize new opportunities available to a fully independent global trading United Kingdom.”

Mike Cherry, national chair at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Today’s announcement is very significant. Small businesses, often with few cash reserves, are for the first time facing complex new customs processes, VAT requirements and rules of origin.

“While many have come to FSB for help, we have been asking for proper financial assistance of this scale, so that a cash-strapped small business can afford to buy-in expertise, training and practical support.

“The new fund will make a significant difference, and we are pleased that ministers have really engaged with us on this, and come up with an excellent response.”

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