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Small Businesses

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Conservative, Bexleyheath and Crayford

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department has taken to ensure that small businesses are prepared for the UK leaving the EU.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Department is maintaining efforts to ensure businesses are ready to leave the EU on 31 October. We engage widely with businesses of all sizes, and as part of the refreshed communications campaign and engagement strategy which the Government has launched, BEIS is pursuing a range of actions to promote awareness and understanding of what businesses, including SMEs, need to do to get ready.

These include the publication of an SME Brexit guidance leaflet and the launch of our Get Ready Roadshows. These specifically target SMEs with information and advice but also ensure intermediaries, such as banks and accountants, have the information needed to support businesses.

Our plans also include advertising aimed at specific sectors using social and digital channels, as well as advertising in publications such as Auto Express setting out the steps businesses should take to get ready for Brexit.

We recently unveiled a £10 million Business Readiness Fund for business organisations and trade associations to support businesses, including SMEs, prepare for EU exit. These funds will support businesses across the UK in understanding the steps they should take to be ready for 31 October.

Through the British Business Bank (BBB) we are putting in place measures to support SMEs through cashflow challenges. Following a Business Finance Roundtable on 5 September, a new Business Finance Council has been established to support SMEs prepare for EU exit and help them secure working capital should they face difficulties in an economic downturn.

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