The government has introduced a new package of measures to help small businesses in England ‘build back better’ from the pandemic by strengthening their overseas trading.
The Export Growth Plan includes a £38 million Internationalisation Fund for SMEs, which will run to 2023 and help up to 7,600 firms increase their exports.
An additional 64 International Trade Advisors at the Department for International Trade (DIT) will be made available to lend their expertise to small businesses. A pilot ‘Export Academy’ will also be introduced to deliver a series of activities that will build the capabilities and confidence of firms to trade overseas.
Minister for Exports Graham Stuart explained:
“The government is negotiating trade deals around the world and we are determined to help UK businesses take advantage of the markets we are opening. So, as part of the recovery from coronavirus, I am delighted to announce this funding and support, which will be invaluable to businesses looking to begin or continue their exporting journeys.
“In 2019 we overtook France to become the world’s fifth-largest exporter and this package is a statement of our confidence in UK companies to grow the UK as an exporting superpower. The package will ensure businesses are supported from the start, with more funding, more Trade Advisors and the establishment of the Export Academy to help businesses build back better.”
The Export Growth Plan is the latest in a series of moves by the government to encourage businesses to export. Earlier this year, UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, launched a new facility to improve support for small businesses and those with shorter manufacturing cycles.
In June, a ‘bounce back’ plan for the food and drink industry was launched, focusing on export growth opportunities in the sector.