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East Midlands Chamber News

SME Brexit Support Fund welcomed by East Midlands Chamber after exporters report issues at the EU border

Responding to the Government’s announcement of a £20m SME Brexit Support Fund to help small businesses with changes to EU trade rules, East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles said: “This is a welcome first step in dealing with some of the major issues that small businesses trading with the EU are facing.

“With their finances already under a significant squeeze, firms – and particularly those exporting – are inevitably encountering difficulties in adapting to the complexities of the new arrangements.

“We’ve recently set up an East Midlands Chamber Exporters Forum and have been able to speak to companies about their experiences on the ground, with many saying these problems are ultimately hitting their bottom line.

“Our international trade team has delivered more than 200 pieces of advice to businesses over the past six weeks about dealing with trade concerns.

“It is now crucial that the grants provide sufficient funds to make a real difference and the Government should stand ready to increase their size if needed.  We will continue working closely with Government to make sure this scheme is delivered as quickly and smoothly as possible for firms still adapting to the new EU trading arrangements and the impact of the pandemic.

“The Chamber will also continue to offer as much direct support as we can to SMEs especially through ChamberCustoms – our dedicated customs advisory, training and brokerage service.”

Details of SME Brexit Support Fund

The SME Brexit Support Fund is designed to support small and medium-sized businesses adjust to new customs, rules of origin and VAT rules when trading with the EU.

SMEs that only trade with the EU – and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes – are encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 per trader.

The Government said this will pay for practical support, including training and professional advice, to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU.

For more information on how East Midlands Chamber can provide support, email international@emc-dnl.co.uk or call 0333 320 0333 (option 4).