The government’s £20 million Brexit support fund for SMEs is in danger of missing its target to support at least 10,000 traders because businesses are being asked to jump through too many hoops.
Fewer than 3,000 applications for the £2,000 grants have been received by HM Revenue & Customs since March, totalling £4.3 million. Yet more than 12,000 firms have indicated interest in applying for funding.
Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, launched the scheme in February, saying that the government accepted that businesses needed support to “adjust” to the new import controls, which will be fully introduced on July 1.
The Institute of Export and International Trade, which is providing training under the scheme, said that demand from businesses for support with overseas trading