UK export strategy must extend greater support to smaller businesses

Business Secretary Greg Clark is facing fresh calls to ensure that the UK’s export strategy extends greater support to businesses at the smaller end of the scale.

Towards the end of 2017, the Government unveiled its Industrial Strategy, which included a move to drive-up export activity among British businesses.

But freight and manufacturing firms are worried that the Government’s plans as they stand overlook small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – which arguably require a greater level of support when it comes to exploring new opportunities for international trade.

Nicole Gunter, Managing Director of shipping firm Global Freight, which specialises in working with manufacturing sector businesses, said that a fresh Government review was “urgently needed.”

With Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU) on the horizon, she said that SMEs needed more support with exports, and that small businesses needed to take a more international outlook.

In recent days, she has called on the Government to review the practical and financial support on offer for businesses at the smaller end of the scale, amid concerns that the UK’s Industrial Strategy has so far only pledged to extend greater support to “medium and larger” firms.

“There is a swathe of small companies right across the country that are already exporting and they will also need better support to access high quality good advice and, of course, new markets too,” she said.

The comments come at a time when businesses are patiently waiting for the Government to report on its ongoing review of UK export support this spring.

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