The UK Goverment has today announced a new package of measures to help businesses in England to build back better forllowing the pandemic, which includes:
- 38 million Internationalisation Fund available for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
- Introduction of 64 new International Trade Advisors and an Export Academy in the Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine and the South West region.
- New policies will allow businesses to grow their overseas trade to help them recover from the economic impact of coronavirus.
The Department for International Trade's (DIT) Export Growth Plan is expected to provide 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, which will help up to 7,600 SMEs in England grow their overseas trading ad 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 Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine and 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.
These new measures are the latest in a series of measures already announced by DIT since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sector-specific support was outlined for businesses through "bounce-back" plans for the agriculture, food & drink, tech and retail industries.
Additionally, a specialist DIT Trade Hub was opened in Edinburgh last month to support Scottish businesses.
UK Export Finance (UKEF), the government's credit agency, has also expanded their work to help businesses grow their overseas trade and build back from the impact of COVID-19. UKEF is expanding its network of regional Export Finance Managers to help local businesses secure the financing they need to trade internationally by appointing renewable energy specialists to put SMEs at the heart of the global transition to clean energy.
Full list of measures is available below:
- New £38m Internationalisation Fund from 2020-23 for SMEs in England that will help 7,600 SMEs to internationalise. The fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is managed through four regional projects: The Northern Powerhouse Internationalisation Fund, Midlands Internationalisation Fund, South Internationalisation Fund and London Internationalisation Fund.
- 64 new International Trade Advisers (ITAs) to provide direct support to SME businesses in the Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine and South West.
- A new, pilot, Export Academy to support smaller businesses in the Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine and South West who want to export.
- 24 new Overseas Champions across the world to promote trade and investment for the Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine.
- A refreshed cohort of over 100 additional Export Champions across different industries in England, to help promote and support exports.
Commenting on the new Export Growth Plan, Julian David, techUK's CEO, said:
"The new Export Growth Plan is a much needed intervention to support businesses during this difficult period and offset some of the domestic slowdown with a new export push. techUK welcomes these additional funds and resources that can help businesses look ahead with confidence and explore international opportunities for business growth. It is vital that these welcome initiatives now translate into practical business support to help businesses build back better. We look forward to working with the UK Government to help technology sector take advantage of these new measures and go from strength to strength in the international arena."