New EU rules, new opportunities for SMEs

The West of England Growth Hub provides 360-degree business support for SMEs. We offer the same level of free, impartial support to businesses from all sectors. 


Below we've outlined the key information you need to assess the new opportunities that the EU rules can bring to your business. Request a call-back today.



Need help?

Doing business with Europe has changed. You need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring. Our team of Enterprise Advisors are here to help you navigate through the changes. Contact us today.

All businesses can find out what has changed, and check their preparations, by visiting new video content from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The short, on-demand videos cover 18 topics, including importing and exporting, rules of origin and audit and accounting. Register now to immediately access the video content.

Check what you need to do differently if you’re:

Get the complete list of what you need to do for your business.




New £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund

The Government's new £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund, offers support to help small businesses adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU. It could give you up to £2,000 if your business has up to 500 employees, and no more than £100 million annual turnover.

SMEs who trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, can apply for grants of up to £2,000, to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU.


For more information on the SME Brexit Support Fund, click here

Full guidance on how you can use the grant, who can apply and how to apply, click here.

Rules for trading with Europe

You'll now need to:

  • make customs declarations for any goods moved between Great Britain and Europe;
  • pay the relevant tariffs on any goods moved between Great Britain and Europe; and,
  • follow new processes for moving any goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

 Find out more here.

Steps you need to take now

  1. Check what actions you need to take by visiting gov.uk/transition
  2.  Sign-up for updates;
  3. Decide how you are going to deal with customs declarations – most companies use a specialist for this;
  4. Check to see whether you might be able to delay your declarations and duty payments; you may be eligible for this if your goods are not on the controlled goods list and you do not have a poor compliance record and;
  5. Register for the free Trader Support Service if you plan to move goods into Northern Ireland.

Follow this link for information on the steps you need to take. You can also sign up to receive government communications and get a personalised list of the channels that might affect you and your business. 

Information from government departments on preparing your business

The Public Sector

The way that opportunities to supply the UK public sector are advertised is about to change. From 23:00 on 31 December 2020, the government will publish information on public sector contract opportunities in the UK, on the new Find a Tender Service (FTS):

  1. FTS is free to use and replaces the role of Tenders Electronic Daily, the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU/TED) for procurements in the UK.
  2. FTS will work alongside existing procurement portals such as Contracts Finder, MOD Defence Contracts Online, Public Contracts Scotland, Sell2Wales and eTendersNI which can be used to access a wide range of opportunities to supply the public sector.
  3. Existing Contracts Finder account holders will be able to use the same login credentials for Find a Tender. You can register now in preparation for its launch on 31 December.

If you wish to access public sector contract opportunities in the EU, you may continue to do so via OJEU/TED. Information about procurements launched by UK contracting authorities before 23:00 on 31 December 2020 will be available via OJEU/TED or the existing portals mentioned above. 

Changes to Intellectual Property (IP)

It's also important to know that there are changes to UK IP law. Listen to the Intellectual Property Office's informative webinar here so you can prepare now. 

For more information, visit our IP page.

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