UK Government’s Brexit Business Support Fund: A Detailed Account
This piece intends to help readers take a closer look at the recently announced Brexit Business Support fund to the tune of £20 million, by the UK government. The Brexit move has affected businesses in many ways, mostly adversely, and left many SMEs baffled. SMEs benefited the most in the pre-Brexit era, where the UK was automatically a part of any trade deal the EU entered with any other country.
While the UK was in the EU, companies were free to buy and sell across EU borders without paying taxes, and there was no upper limit on the number of goods to be traded.
Many small businesses could not escape the effects of Brexit and its transition period, such as trade, services and qualifications, travel, and fishing, while many small business owners and the community at large shared deep reservations on the move, which indicated anxiety.
Considering such reservations pouring in from the business community about changes in the trading environment, the UK government has now introduced monetary inducements to the tune of £20 million, in the SME Brexit Support Fund. Here keeping up with our traditions to keep businesses updated with professional guidance, Clear House Accountants have gathered all necessary information UK businesses need to know about this new initiative.
Brexit Business Support Fund:
The £20 million Brexit Business Support Fund is geared towards helping SMEs adapt to the changes in trade rules with the EU.
Following are the points that are included in this deal:
- Traders could apply for a grant of up to £2,000 for payment to get practical support for import and export.
- This fund will help businesses to implement new import control rules coming into effect from April to July.
- Logistics UK has been of immense help in resolving issues concerning the end of the transition and proved to be helpful in supporting hauliers and traders. With the fund being arranged for the SMEs, the UK government has announced that Logistics UK will be engaged from now onwards.
The Fund expanded:
The Fund, in addition to the above, has the following on offer:
- Government representatives will hold meetings at regular intervals, preferably on a weekly basis, with specific business sectors across the UK.
- The government will meet the Seafood Exports Working Group and a newly established Scottish Seafood Exports Task Force two times a week to address the concerned industry’s issues.
- The UK government will support small businesses importing and exporting between Britain and Northern Ireland with Trade Support Service.
- The government is establishing helplines for businesses to acquire the information they need. One such dedicated line is the HMRC imports and exports enquiry service, available on 0300 322 9434 or online web chat.
- The government will run regular webinars with policy specialists to ensure that SMEs operate smoothly and remove any glitches they might encounter.
- The UK government has provided a checklist at Brexit Checker Tool on the government’s official website, guiding businesses to do what they must in a personalised list.
- The government will provide one on one support to exporters through an international trade advisors-wide network of 300.
- The UK government has established a dedicated task force to deal with issues around this concerning Northern Ireland Protocol.
- The government has also launched a guarantee scheme for SMEs, wherein the government provides an 80% guarantee for financial support programmes for lenders to help general exporting cost up to £25 million.
How to apply for a Brexit support grant fund?
Here is how you can apply for the grant, the eligibility criteria and use case for the grant:
- The Eligibility Criteria
With an employee count of up to 500 and an annual turnover of no more than £100 million, this fund could support you with £2,000 in seeking training and professional advice. Now, let’s take a look at what this grant is used for.
- What the grant can be used for?
With the help of this grant, you can train on how to complete customs declarations.
This fund can also be used to learn custom software and customs processes.
This grant can also be used for attending to the specific aspects of a business such as VAT and excise etc.
This fund could also be used to seek professional advice for your specific business.
- How to Apply Online for the Brexit Support Grant Fund?
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) is currently managing these grants for HMRC. You can apply on their website using the following link.
1. Register using the link above.
2. Once registered you will receive a login and password.
3. Gather information required to apply, such as the quote and the name of the provider.
4. Log in to the application portal.
5. Create an application, complete the form, and save it.
6. Attach supporting documents.
7. Submit for approval.
8. Once submitted it will be reviewed and if approved the grant will be transferred as soon as possible.
Who is eligible?
The steps to follow to apply for the grant are detailed out as under:
- For you to apply for the grant, your business must be established inside the UK.
- Your business should either be established inside the UK for 12 months before submitting a grant application. Or must hold Authorised Economic Operator Status, acquired from the concerned government quarters.
- Your business must never have failed to meet your tax obligations or custom requirements.
- You should not have more than 500 employees working for your business.
- An upper limit of £100 million is set for your business’s annual turnover, which should not be exceeded and instead, the annual turnover should remain well below this upper limit.
- This grant can be used to move goods between the UK and the EU or between the UK and Northern Ireland.
- The businesses need to complete import or export declarations internally for the goods their business owns.
- You can use someone else to complete export or import declarations with the added internal capability to import and export effectively.
Video: How will Brexit Impact Contractors and Freelancers?
The anxiety businesses face due to the uncertainty that now comes after Brexit has created high hopes in the UK government, by businesses, to come up with a plan to assuage their unease.
The UK government did come up with a plan — Brexit Business Support Fund!
By announcing this fund, the UK government has assuaged the anxiety. This plan’s study reveals that the government devised this plan after it closely observed the unease the SME and business community feel.
The contents of the plan are so viable and vibrant even in theory which leaves one wondering how this plan’s practical shape looks like. Because practical implementation of this plan in letter and spirit is bound to bring a kind of convenience and comfort to the business community and SMEs.
Jibran Qureshi FCCA is the Managing Director of Clear House Accountants, and has over 10+ years of experience in practice and across multiple industries. Jibran’s educational background includes a Master’s in Financial Strategy from Oxford University and an Executive MBA from Hult International Business School. His experience in Financial Strategy, Tax Planning, Operational Consultancy and Performance Reporting guide his cognizant approach to leading Clear House and its clients to the future. It was this dexterity that led him to be Enterprise Nation’s Top 50 Advisors.
Jibran is fueled by his passion for helping businesses. He unequivocally believes that as business advisors and accountants for our clients, it is our responsibility to work with them as business partners. As specialists, it is our duty to help our clients navigate through the complexities of constant change and the implications that come with it.
Over the past decade, innovative disruptions have changed the way businesses work, everything from cloud software, innovative business models, to AI and machine learning, have impacted how businesses operate, grow, and expand.
Jibran recognized the need to manage these disruptions sustainably, early on and shaped Clear House Accountants to not just be compliance specialists, but advisors who help build complex ecosystems around cloud accounting software, provide advice on funding support, help manage innovative tax schemes, set up and implement complex strategic plans, and much more. So, his clients can thrive, not just survive.
Jibran developed his prime role as the Managing Director to build Clear House’s capabilities so it can add value for their clients. He is of firm belief that this can be done through consistent high-level training, building the right tools, and creating roadmaps to help businesses cope with prospective disruptions. He envisages that every client that comes on board, is provided maximum value through onboarding, ongoing services and the right mix of tools to help them become the best in the world.