As of October 15, 2021, the Brexit resilience grant is also open to companies that want to contribute only their own costs. This means that the use of an external service provider is no longer mandatory to apply.
1 What is the Brexit resilience grant?
Due to Brexit, a lot of Flemish companies have to reorient to new markets, products and services or adapt to the new market conditions in order to remain competitive in the British market. To counter the impact of Brexit on the Flemish economy as much as possible, the Flemish government launched the Brexit resilience grant in early 2021.
The support measure is intended for Flemish SMEs that have been directly or indirectly affected by Brexit and are embarking on a project that is difficult to reverse in order to cope with the changed market conditions and challenges.
Some examples of eligible projects:
- Tapping into new foreign markets;
- Compensate for lost UK market share by offering a new product or service in an existing market and/or offering an existing product or service in a new market;
- Optimize/digitize/internalize administrative processes on customs formalities;
- Engage in (digital) marketing to compensate for lost market share;
- Review of the logistics chain in exports to the UK.
A budget of €14 million has been allocated for this grant. Companies can receive up to €25,000 in support for obtaining external advice and/or up to €25,000 for their own costs. The aid rate is 50%. The minimum project cost is still € 20,000.
2 Relaxation: internal costs are sufficient
Until October 15, it was mandatory to use external consultancy in order to benefit from this support measure. However, the requirement to work with an external service provider proved to be a barrier for many entrepreneurs that prevented them from applying for aid.
As of October 15, 2021, the Brexit resilience grant was therefore also opened up to companies that only want to contribute their own costs. In this way, companies that only incur internal costs to adapt to the changed market situation after Brexit are also eligible.
Own costs include personnel costs for own (existing or yet to be recruited) employees directly involved in the implementation of the project. It may include personnel costs to:
- Improve the logistics chain to and from the UK;
- Simplify and/or digitize the administrative burden of customs formalities;
- To accommodate the additional workload of importers or exporters who manage the flow of goods from and/or to the UK;
- Train staff in dealing with Brexit-specific customs issues;
- To prepare for a certification or audit (e.g. UKCA mark).
Personnel costs may be supplemented by a lump sum for overhead and operating costs necessary to carry out the project.
The Brexit resilience grant can be applied for on a rolling basis via the VLAIO website until no later than December 31, 2021, unless funds are exhausted earlier. Applications will be decided in order of submission.
Do you have questions about the Brexit resilience grant or need help with your application? Then contact us here.