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FSB calls on Government to support small firms with export vouchers

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on the Government to give small firms a pre-Brexit injection of support by introducing export vouchers.

The FSB is putting pressure on the Treasury to come forward with these vouchers, up to the value of £3000, in light of research which shows that 40 per cent of small business exporters feel that uncertainty around Brexit is having a negative impact on their exporting ambitions.

The export vouchers would help small firms on a range of costs such as translation services, market research and finding overseas clients through trade fairs.

FSB research reveals that the potentially positive impact of the depreciation of GBP for exporters is being offset by the volatility in GBP, as a result of the current political climate.

Over half (53 per cent) of smaller business exporters to the EU believe their business continuity and growth will be negatively impacted by a no deal on the 31 October.

Of those smaller businesses that have prepared for a no deal scenario, the average cost of preparations is £2880, rising to around £3000 for those smaller businesses that import and or export.

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) national chairman Mike Cherry said: “Exporting is a critical part of the British economy, especially to small firms hoping to expand and grow their businesses.

“But in order to succeed, it’s time that the Government stepped in and gave small firms the help that they need in order to realise their exporting ambitions.

“The introduction of export vouchers up to the value of £3,000 will alleviate some of the strains that exporting firms are facing at the current time.

“Small businesses 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, which must be published as a matter of urgency.

“The continued uncertainty is harming small firms’ ability to plan and prepare for the future with 40% of small business exporters saying that the uncertainty has had a negative impact on their future exporting ambitions.

“Small firms are the backbone of the economy, which is why the Government must help equip businesses to succeed and flourish.”