‘Confusing’ Brexit support fund deters SMEs from applying

Brexit update

The UK government’s scheme, which was established to help SMEs handle the turmoil and paperwork associated with Brexit, was in the midst of complaints that its complexity discouraged companies from applying. We awarded only one-third of the total funds.

Ministers SME Brexit Support Fund In February to help small exporters struggling to cope with the additional costs of selling goods outside the EU single market left by the UK on January 1.

The government has provided all companies with up to £ 2,000 to pay for practical support for imports and exports, including compliance with new customs, rules of origin and VAT rules. An overall pot worth £ 20 million was available to support up to 10,000 small businesses.

However, according to official data, only 4,376 companies are offered a grant of around £ 6.8m, which is dissatisfied with the complexity and accessibility of SMEs without specialized trading experience. A total of 5,414 companies applied.

Numbers revealed by Labor lawmaker Hilary Benn Parliamentary questionThe average company applying, shows that they are receiving only £ 1,555 instead of the maximum amount of £ 2,000 available.

Ben, Co-Chair of the UK Trade and Business Commission, Cross-party group of parliamentarians and business leadersThe government’s support scheme “looked like an obstacle course that discouraged applications by allowing small businesses to jump over too many hoops for very small profits,” he said.

He added: “I’ve heard direct testimony from companies that have been facing serious difficulties since leaving the EU. If the government really wants to help them, they have a simplified application process and more. You have to make another bid with a substantive grant. “

Management of the fund launched by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove as a way to help businesses “seize new opportunities available to the UK in a completely independent global trade” PwC..

Best for Britain, the secretariat of the UK Trade and Business Commission, said there are 600,000 SMEs in the UK that could benefit from the scheme.

The application for the scheme was closed last month. Ben wrote to the government to urge the minister to increase support for businesses by expanding the fund.

Craig Beaumont, director of foreign affairs at the SME Federation, said SMEs had a hard time applying in the first round. Navigating without knowledge was confusing. ”

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The FSB is also demanding a second streamlined round of the fund. “Importantly, it makes sense to be outside HMRC because it undermines the fact that grants were available for non-customs purposes such as training and technology,” Beaumont said. I did. Money can be used for training and professional advice.

Naomi Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Best for Britain, said: Without actual government action, SMEs are at risk of going through this transaction hole and falling into the abyss. “

HM Revenue and Customs said it worked extensively to encourage SMEs to complete their applications. He added that groups such as the FSB and the British Chamber of Commerce were encouraging the promotion of the fund with its members.

“For those who have applied but are not qualified, we continue to provide support through regular communication, webins and guidance,” said HMRC.

The number may increase further as the application is processed by PwC, the fund’s administrator.

‘Confusing’ Brexit support fund deters SMEs from applying Source link ‘Confusing’ Brexit support fund deters SMEs from applying

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