Business development Fred Heritage · 21 June 2016
Exports can drive business growth, claims Sajid Javid?
The business secretary, Sajid Javid, has encouraged small businesses in the North of England to consider exporting as a route to growth. Suggesting that exports can and should be considered the driving force behind the government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative, Javid called on more small business owners in the north of the country to look towards international trade. Speaking to hundreds of delegates from the small business community at the International Festival for Business in Liverpool on 21 June, the business secretary said: it’s never been easier for small firms to start exporting and the potential rewards have never been greater. Exporting is great for business owners, great for their bottom line and it’s great for the north. According to recent government figures, just one-in-five small businesses in the UK currently export, compared to a one-in-four Europe-wide average. Despite SME’s making up all but one per cent of British business, just 34 per cent of the country’s mid-sized companies currently export. Javid added: Today’s customers don’t think twice about finding the best product at the best price and ordering it from the other side of the world. Exporting can really put the power into the Northern Powerhouse, and it’s not just for big-name companies. With the aim of increasing levels of economic growth outside of London and the South East of England, the central focus of the Northern Powerhouse initiative is to devolve greater powers to the North of England while better linking cities like Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, Leeds and Sheffield. Despite considerable government backing, a recent survey conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that just half the North of England’s small business owners believe the Northern Powerhouse will have a positive impact on their firm, while 16 per cent still don’t fully understand the benefits of the policy.
ABOUT THE EXPERTFred Heritage
Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.