BFPA joins sister associations in applying to the new Business Readiness Fund

27 Sep 2019

As part of its on-going attempts to ‘second-guess’ the outcome of the current BREXIT negotiations, BEIS has introduced a new Business Readiness Fund of approximately £16M. Business organisations and industry bodies can apply for a grant from the Business Readiness Fund to help UK businesses prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

The grants are for £25,000 and over. Organisations that qualify can use the grant for things such as producing advice packs, running events, training courses and webinars. Organisations that can apply include chambers of commerce, chartered institutes, professional bodies, trade associations and groups of organisations although in the latter case applicant smust appoint a single point of contact. Individual businesses cannot apply for the grant.

BFPA, through its involvement in EURIS is applying for £200K grant which, if successful, would be split between the EURIS members in proportions that reflect the level of their chosen activity. In other words, no-one would have cause to complain that they couldn’t fund a particular initiative if they were prepared to take it to a conclusion.

As is all too common with such well-intended HMG initiatives, there is a catch! If we are successful, we must spend the funding on the activities you propose and complete by the 31st October 2019!

We would have to repay any money that we have not spent by that date. We’ll also have to repay money spent on activities which will happen after that date!

What’s more, if we run a membership organisation, (and we do), we must also include non-members in our proposed activities.

Given all of these caveats, both BFPA and our sister organisations were somewhat sceptical of the feasibility of meeting the over burdensome, and some would say, disproportionate and divisive constraints! However, our BEIS contacts claim that we have a good chance of being successful so we press ahead with some scepticism. I shall be sure to keep members informed if we are successful!

Chris Buxton