As Brexit draws closer, businesses across the UK are now faced with widespread uncertainty for the future of their organisations.
As Brexit draws closer, businesses across the UK are now faced with widespread uncertainty for the future of their organisations. It is no question that small and medium enterprises are scrambling to draw up contingency plans with rising concerns over possible employee cuts, increased business rates and shortage of skilled workers. To set minds at ease, the government has launched a £10 million Brexit Readiness fund to help businesses prepare for UK’s departure from the EU.
Last week, UK Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom unveiled a £10 million grant scheme to support businesses organisations and trade associations before the Brexit due date on October 31.
The government funds will be used to help inform, train and prepare UK’s workforce, giving organisations the tools to fully prepare for Britain’s EU departure.
Businesses can receive of up to £25,000 and over allowing them to organise training courses, events, webinars, workshops and other "preparedness strategies” ensuring all employees are well-informed and supported during a time of mass political uncertainty.
Announcing the scheme on August 29, the Business Secretary said she is “determined to do everything” she can to ensure business organisations are fully prepared and ready for Brexit.
“The UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October. For businesses that still feel unprepared, I am determined to do everything I possibly can to ensure they are fully ready for Brexit,” she said.
“We know that companies often rely on the wider business community for help and advice with planning. Business groups will now be given the necessary tools to engage with this crucial task, communicating with non-members and businesses of all sizes.
“The funding we are announcing today will mean business organisations from all sectors across the country can stand resolutely behind businesses large and small to support them in preparing for, and seizing the opportunities of, leaving the EU."
The new funding comes as part of the £108 million announced by the Treasury earlier in August to help and promote and support businesses.
Organisations that can apply include the Federation of Small Businesses, BCC or Institute of Directors, trade associations, chambers of commerce, chartered institutes and other professional membership bodies with a significant membership.
However, funds cannot be used for existing projects, projects that are already at the planning stage or be used to provide grants or loans to businesses.
Businesses who are successful in the application must spend the money on their allocated activities by October 31 and any money not used must be repaid.
Craig Beaumont, Director of External Affairs at the Federation of Small Business believes it is critical for businesses to be equipped and ready for Brexit for the sake of Britain’s economy.
“As an organisation representing 165,000 small firms and the self-employed in every local community across the UK, we welcome these funds that target small businesses,” he said.
“It is mission critical to the economy that they have the information they need, to prepare for Brexit.”
Deadline for applications are on September 30 2019.
Successful applicants will be informed within 5 days of submitting their proposal and funds will be sent within 7 working days. Businesses can apply now on gov.uk.
With this new funding in place, businesses can breathe a sigh of relief knowing their employees are prepared and trained ahead of UK’s departure from the EU.