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MPs urged to introduce export vouchers for small firms

The FSB is urging the government to step in and give small firms the help they need in order to realise their exporting ambitions.

MPs urged to introduce export vouchers for small firms
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • October 08, 2019
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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on the Department for International Trade and the Treasury to come forward and give small firms a pre-Brexit injection of support to promote exporting by introducing export vouchers.

The FSB has suggested that vouchers, up to the value of £3,000, would help small firms on a range of costs from investments in translation services, additional market research, and finding new clients through overseas trade fairs.

According to the group’s research, the potentially positive impact of the depreciation of the sterling on exporters has been offset by the “volatility in sterling and the uncertainty created as a result of the current failure to secure a Brexit deal”.

An additional strain on small business, the FSB national chairman explained, is that they are being “made to wait for the updated publication of the government’s revised UK tariff schedule that would apply in the event of a no deal Brexit scenario”.

“The continued uncertainty is harming small firms ability to plan and prepare for the future with 40 per cent of small business exporters saying that the uncertainty has had a negative impact on their future exporting ambitions,” FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said.

Around 21 per cent of small firms currently export, but with additional assistance from the government, the FSB believes that those numbers could double.

“The use of these incentives will help on a number of fronts ranging from investment costs for items like translation services as well as additional market research and fact finding visits,” said Mr Cherry.

“These financial incentives are a great way to support our small firms that want to begin their exporting journey as well as those looking for ways to increase their exporting potential.”

Close to half (46 per cent) of smaller businesses that think they will be negatively impacted by a no deal scenario would welcome some form of financial assistance in the form of either Brexit vouchers or tax credits/breaks, the FSB revealed.

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