Call to extend Brexit support fund
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on the Government to extend a £20m fund to support companies struggling with post-Brexit EU trading. The SME Brexit Support Fund was launched in February and encouraged firms that traded with the EU to claim up to £2,000 each to help pay for training and professional advice so “they can continue trading effectively with the EU”. HMRC said that the fund, which was administered by PwC and closed to new applicants on June 30, had provided £6.8m in grants to 4,376 businesses. Around 15,000 firms had registered an interest in the scheme, with 5,414 applying for £8.5m in funding. In a recent report the FSB said that “there is still high demand from small firms for advice and support as they adapt to changes to the UK-EU trade relationship.” Liam Smyth, director of trade facilitation at the British Chambers of Commerce, added that businesses had to “jump” through too many “hoops” to claim the support.