Small exporters 'need more govt support'

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Small exporters 'need more govt support' (image credit: iStock/IPGGutenbergUKLtd)

The nation's many small businesses that export goods overseas are in need of increased government support.

This is the view of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which has responded to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, which showed the UK's quarterly trade deficit in the first three months of the year stood at £13.3 billion.

Highlighted as the largest recorded figure for any calendar quarter since the first three months of 2008, the FSB now feels that more needs to be done to provide support for those smaller operators that could help offset these losses in the months and years ahead.

Responding to the data, FSB national chairman Mike Cherry argued: "Small businesses can make a significant contribution to this target but they need tailored support.

"Our own research shows small business confidence at its lowest level since 2013 alongside a worrying decline in export performance among small firms."

He added that a worse quarterly result has not been seen in the export sector since the beginning of the global economic crisis and therefore serious questions must be asked as to how this issue can be effectively addressed moving forward.

Indeed, the FSB stated that the government will face real difficulties in achieving its ongoing targets of increasing the value of exports to £1 trillion and supporting 100,000 new exporters by the end of the decade if forthright action is not soon taken.

As a result, Mr Cherry hopes to meet with the government's new exports minister Lord Price in the near future to urgently discuss the additional support that could be provided to the nation's smaller exporters.