Government awards grants worth millions to boost Brexit readiness

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Andrea Leadsom

More than 120 business organisations of a variety of sizes across the UK, including the East Midlands Chamber, have now had grants approved to help get companies ready for Brexit.

The Business Readiness Fund was launched to help business representative organisations and trade associations to support members and non-members alike to get ready for Britain leaving the European Union on 31st October. It closed for applications a fortnight ago. Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has confirmed that 69 grants have already been awarded to a range of groups, making up £6.3 million of the fund so far, including:

  • the Federation of Small Businesses, which is planning interactive webinars, digital engagement and marketing to reach 1 million businesses
  • the British Chambers of Commerce, which will use funds to produce expert guidance for businesses about the implications of leaving the EU without a deal on 31 October, specifically around customs declarations, rules of origin and tariffs
  • the Institute of Directors, which will be disseminating accessible guidance, providing a range of workshops and information sessions, and facilitating one-to-one advice for business leaders
  • the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, which will undertake targeted communications to members, the businesses they advise and firms in general. Funding from the grant will provide for printed and digital resources for chartered accountants, as well as non-members, focusing on ten key questions businesses need to consider in order to prepare as thoroughly as possible in the event of the UK leaving the European Union on 31 October without a deal
  • the Shellfish Association of Great Britain, which will help prepare the shellfish industry for Brexit on 31 October across the UK via 3 projects; providing an information pack, an information event on 18 October in London and tailored advice to individual businesses
  • the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), which is holding a series of free events across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland over the coming weeks to provide practical advice and support for UK fashion and textile businesses in the lead up to the UK’s exit from the European Union. The association has prepared a free Brexit Checklist, a comprehensive guide to Brexit readiness for the UK fashion and textile industry and will be operating a dedicated Brexit helpline to help minimise disruption to trade

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The funding has to be used to support both members and non-members, so I urge all businesses to get in touch with organisations in their local area so they can take advantage of the support on offer.

FSB’s Director of External Affairs and Advocacy, Craig Beaumont, said: “It is important in the time that we have left before 31 October, we do everything we can to support small businesses and the self-employed to plan and prepare for Brexit. We are focused on giving small firms the information they need to prepare in the most small business friendly language possible through interactive webinars, digital engagement and marketing to reach 1 million businesses.

IoDDirector General Jonathan Geldart said: “The IoDis ready to play its part supporting all directors to be better equipped in dealing with the risks of a no deal. Obviously this isn’t easy, but directors can only use their best judgement, and the more information they have, the better they can respond with agility to whatever happens.”

As of last week, the full list of organisations awarded grants under the Business Readiness Fund was:

  • Advertising Association
  • Aerospace Wales Forum Ltd
  • AMDEA: The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances
  • Association of Colleges
  • Association of Labour Providers Ltd
  • Association of Translation Companies
  • Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce
  • Black Country Chambers of Commerce
  • British Beer and Pub Association
  • British Chambers of Commerce
  • British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA)
  • British Insurance Brokers Ltd
  • Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys
  • Chartered Institute of Public Relations
  • Chemical Industries Association
  • Coventry and Warwickshire Chambers of Commerce
  • Cumbria Chamber of Commerce
  • Cumbria Tourism
  • Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce
  • East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
  • East Mids. Chamber
  • EEF Limited (trading as Make UK)
  • Exeter Chamber of Commerce
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
  • GWE Business West
  • Hampshire Chamber of Commerce
  • HCF CATCH Limited
  • Herefordshire & Worcester Chamber of Commerce
  • Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce
  • Independent Schools’ Bursars Association
  • Information Technology Telecommunications and Electronics Association
  • Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers
  • Institute of Directors
  • Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce
  • Industry & Enterprise
  • Law Society of Northern Ireland
  • Law Society, England & Wales
  • Manufacturing NI
  • Medilink North of England Ltd
  • Motorsport Industry Assoc
  • Music Industries Association
  • National Office Animal Health (NOAH)
  • Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade
  • North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
  • Outdoor Industries Association CIC ltd
  • Professional Publishers Association Ltd
  • Proprietary Association of Great Britain
  • Scottish Council for Development & Industry
  • Scottish Engineering
  • Shellfish Association of Great Britain
  • Shropshire Chamber of Commerce Ltd
  • Somerset Chamber of Commerce
  • St Helens Chamber
  • Surface Engineering Association
  • The Aluminium Federation
  • The British Woodworking Federation
  • The Independent Schools Association
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  • The Institute of Directors (NI)
  • The Publishers Association
  • The Road Haulage Association Ltd
  • The UK Interactive Entertainment Association
  • The Wine & Spirit Trade Association
  • UK Fashion & Textile Association
  • UK Theatre Association
  • Universities UK
  • West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce
  • Wirral Chamber of Commerce