Government's business readiness fund approves £10.1 million in grants to 124 business organisations

25 October 2019


The Business Readiness Fund helps business representative organisations and trade associations support members and non-members get ready for Britain leaving the EU.

  • Recipients include Federation of Small Businesses, British Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors, the Shellfish Association of Great Britain and the UK Fashion & Textile Association
  • 69 organisations already awarded £6.3 million and named today
  • government to host online Brexit readiness event for up to 10,000 businesses on 16 October

124 business organisations of a variety of sizes across the UK have now had grants approved to help get companies ready for Brexit on 31 October.

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 31 October. It closed for applications on 7 October.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has today 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

The Fund is also supporting business groups across the United Kingdom:

  • Aerospace Wales Forum Ltd
  • West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce
  • the Law Society of Northern Ireland
  • Manufacturing NI
  • Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade
  • the Institute of Directors (NI)
  • Scottish Engineering and The Scottish Council for Development & Industry

are among those receiving grants.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, said:

I’m delighted that this Fund has been able to support such a large and diverse wide range of business groups right across the United Kingdom as we get ready to leave the EU on 31 October. 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.

IoD Director General Jonathan Geldart, said:

The IoD is 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.

Iain Wright, ICAEW Director for Business and Industrial Strategy, said:

Many smaller businesses are less prepared for a no deal Brexit and are turning to Chartered Accountants, in their capacity as trusted business advisors, for assistance. In addition to work we’ve already undertaken to help our members - and the 3 million UK businesses they advise and run - to prepare, this funding will enable us to provide targeted information where it’s needed in the run-up to 31 October.

Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT, said:

This fund has allowed us to deliver industry-specific information at key centres across the UK, and will ensure our guidance can reach as many firms as possible. We have also developed a suite of resources encompassing the most important things our businesses need to know.

Sarah Horsfall, Assistant Director of the Shellfish Association of Great Britain, said:

This funding is enabling SAGB, a small association, to have the resource to help the shellfish industry prepare for the changes Brexit will bring.

Over 1,000 people from across the UK have already attended one of the free Brexit Business Readiness Events organised by government. The government has also announced that it will host a bespoke online event for up to 10,000 businesses on 16 October, covering everything they need to know to get ready for Brexit. This will include:

  • sessions from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on practical steps all businesses need to take
  • advice from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on handling personal data
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on essential actions to ensure continuity of trade for the food and drink, farming, fisheries, waste and chemicals sectors
  • HMRC on Import, Export and customs for business
  • the Department for International Trade on future trade with the rest of the world
  • the Home Office on the settled status scheme

Each session will include an interactive panel so viewers will be able to ask questions of policy experts. Material will stay online until 31 October so people can continue to refer to videos. Sign up to the online event through the Brexit Business Readiness Events website.

Recipients of Business Readiness Fund grants

Click here to see the full list of organisations awarded grants under the Business Readiness Fund on Wednesday 9 October.


Kindly supplied by GOV.UK


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