GAI welcomes £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund for SMEs

UK Government has established a fund to help SMEs adjust to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU. SMEs new to importing and exporting processes will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively.

The fund will be administered through the pre-existing Customs Grant Scheme and will open for applications next month.

GAI Chief Executive Simon Forrester said of the news:

“This is a major step forward for small businesses, who are bearing the brunt of additional red tape around our new relationship with the EU. At a time when cashflow is limited, dealing with a complex VAT regime and customs processes is a double whammy. I’ve been made aware of several members whose consignments are falling foul of the new customs regime, and so we welcome the opportunity for GAI members to buy in advice, expertise, training and practical support. Uncertainty around additional costs is putting people off buying internationally and trading between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so clarity is essential to boost confidence.”

More information about the SME Brexit Support Fund along with UK Government Support Helplines for all four home countries can be found at Get help and support for your business - GOV.UK ( and via the Brexit Transition website: Brexit - GOV.UK (