A number of my colleagues have had clients asking them for more details on the recent government announcements about “grants for businesses to assist with Brexit”.
Well towards the end of last week, there was a tangible announcement with Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom unveiling a £10 million grant scheme for business organisations and trade associations to support businesses in preparing for Brexit, ahead of 31 October 2019.
Not open to direct applications from businesses
However, before any businesses look to how to make an application, you should be aware that this £10m is to be applied for and administered by “business organisations and trade associations”. So it would not appear open to direct applications from businesses. Therefore, if you feel there are specific issues that you would like assistance with (and feel that other businesses in your area would like assistance with) in the context of supporting businesses in preparing for Brexit ahead of 31 October 2019, then I would suggest that you contact your most relevant business organisations or trade associations and encourage them to submit an application… (and to do this pronto – see timeline below)
Key details on the Brexit Readiness Fund, from what I have read so far:
- The fund will be open to business organisations (including the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), British Chambers of Commerce or Institute of Directors), trade associations, chambers of commerce, chartered institutes and other professional membership bodies with a significant membership
- Applications are invited for practical advice and support, including (but not limited to): advice packs, information campaigns, webinars, podcasts, events or training workshops
- Activities supported by the fund must:
- be delivered in their entirety by 31 October 2019
- be additional to those activities already in delivery or planned to be delivered
- be made available to all businesses in the sector or geographical area and cannot be restricted to an organisation’s members or subscribers
- be free (non-chargeable) to businesses
- not create a competitive advantage to certain businesses
- Applications for grants will be accepted up to Monday 30 September 2019 and administered through a dedicated website, to be launched on 29 August 2019 and available through GOV.UK shortly
In the HM Treasury press release on the £10m it states “The funding forms part of the £108m recently announced by HM Treasury to promote and support businesses in ensuring they are ready for Brexit, including a national programme of business readiness and helping exporters to prepare for, and capitalise on, new opportunities.” Judging by the comments made by FSB, I am not alone in awaiting more details about ‘what this money is actually for’.
PKF Francis Clark
Our Customs team, who have been helping many of our clients plan for Breixt say this is a great opportunity to gain some much needed education in this area (although it is very late in the day).
They are currently in talks with local chambers who have applied for this funding and we would be looking to work together with these and other business organisations and trade associations to assist with information dissemination in the run up to Brexit.
For more information on how my colleagues may be able to assist, please contact your usual PKF Francis Clark contact, or me if you are not a client, and we will pass your details onto the appropriate member of the Customs team.
By Andrew James