A package of measures to help businesses in England recover from the pandemic by boosting exports has been announced by the government.
The Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Export Growth Plan provides additional financial support and expertise, some of which is targeted towards specific regions that are most in need.
The plan includes a £38 million Internationalisation Fund for small businesses, designed to help up to 7,600 SMEs in England grow their overseas trading and strengthen their business.
Additional support for exporters will be provided by 64 new International Trade Advisors (ITAs), many of them working closely with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), who will lend their expertise to small businesses in the so-called Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine regions, as well as the south west.
A new pilot Export Academy will also be introduced to support smaller businesses in the same areas. The academy will deliver a series of activities to build the capabilities of smaller companies, creating a new cohort of confident businesses ready to trade.
Minister for exports, Graham Stuart, said: "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.
"As we continue to negotiate improved trading terms with leading countries around the world, it is important to ensure every business can reap the benefits of our free trade agreements."
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