UK-based SMBs offered GBP 20 mln Brexit fund after border trade disruption

Friday 12 February 2021 11:29 CET | News

Small UK-based businesses have gained access to a GBP 20 million Brexit support fund from the government to help new trade rules following border disruption following Brexit, according to The Guardian.

In response to mounting criticism from business leaders over the impact of the new arrangements government officials said the funding would help businesses adapt to the changes. Traders will be able to apply for a grant of up to GBP 2,000 each to pay for practical support for importing and exporting. The grants will also help companies prepare for additional import controls that are due to come into force from April and July 2021. Suggesting that businesses could now ‘seize new opportunities available to a fully independent, global-trading United Kingdom,’ the government said the targeted funding would help small businesses get more of the practical support they need to adjust to the new processes, and prepare for further checks on EU trade.

Additional UK import controls will be introduced in April and July 2021 as part of a staged approach to the changing post-Brexit rules. The move comes days after the government sought to defend its record on Brexit after freight industry leaders claimed exports to the EU nosedived in January 2021, following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. Half of British exporters to the EU are facing difficulties and higher costs for import and export activities due to mounting red tape and border disruption, according to a survey from the British Chambers of Commerce cited by The Guardian.

The government said overall freight flows between Great Britain and the EU in the first week of February 2021 had reached 98% compared with the same time in 2020, that there was no disruption at ports, and that compliance with the new rules remained high. Official trade figures for January 2021 are due to be published in March 2021. Business leaders broadly welcomed the new support fund but warned that further action was required to address bottlenecks and red tape that still remain and which are adding substantial costs to doing business.

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Keywords: UK, SMB, Brexit, global trade, investment, import, export, supply chain finance
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: United Kingdom
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