Music SMEs can now apply for grants of up to £2,000 to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU. The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund enables music retailers and suppliers to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes.
Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, Directors General, Borders and Trade, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), said “We recognise that changes to customs rules have been challenging for small and micro businesses, and this is why we are encouraging business owners to apply for support through the SME Brexit Support Fund. We do not take for granted that the UK’s small businesses – from designers creating bespoke handmade pieces from their kitchen tables, to those selling sweet treats – are vital to the growth and prosperity of our economy, so we look forward to supporting them with practical help to do business with our European partners, on top of a wide range of support available from the government.”
Small and medium sized businesses that trade solely with the EU – and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes – are encouraged to apply for the grants. To be eligible, businesses must import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This follows the government setting out a new timetable for introducing import border control processes to enable UK businesses to focus on their recovery. Full import border control processes will now be introduced on 1 January 2022, six months later than originally planned.
Steven Greenall, Chair of the Music Industries Association, added “We know that over 85% of our members are exporters and two-thirds are SMEs. The MIA has been doing all it can to support and sign-post members to the advice they need, but in many cases music retailers and suppliers require specialised advice. The fact that the £2,000 grant can be used for bespoke and expert consultancy will be a great benefit to the music industry.”
More information about the SME Brexit Support Fund, including details of how to apply, can be found on GOV.UK.