MARCHES LEP URGES BUSINESSES TO EXPLORE NEW MARKETS OVERSEAS
The private sector-led partnership tasked with revitalising the economy of the region is challenging Shropshire SMEs to consider export opportunities in new markets as a route to growth.
The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership is supporting the Export for Growth event on July 27, a one-stop-shop for small and medium-sized businesses looking to develop trade outside of the UK for the first time or develop their international trade journey.
The LEP's first major event was the launch Export for Growth conference in Ludlow in April, which attracted more than 100 delegates representing businesses from diverse sectors in the region.
It was held as part of the National Challenge announced by the Prime Minister and Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green at the end of 2011, when they set a target of getting up to 100,000 SMEs to either start exporting for the first time or spread to new markets.
LEP Chairman Dr Geoffrey Davies OBE, who will be speaking to businesses at the next event hosted by Shropshire Chamber and the International Trade Team, said: “If we can get 100,000 new businesses to start exporting, that would have a tremendous effect on the UK trade deficit.
“We operate in a global marketplace, it is becoming easier and easier to trade overseas, the barriers are coming down and even the smallest businesses can export. Around 86 per cent of companies here are SMEs, employing fewer than ten people. We want to get them exporting and this will create more jobs for our region.”
Dr Davies will speak about his own experience of international trade as managing director of McConnel, the Ludlow-based manufacturer, and founder of Alamo Group Europe.
Richard Sheehan, managing director of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “Many businesses across Shropshire have a role to play in boosting SME exports, not just those companies who are manufacturing goods and looking to start trading overseas. Companies such as accountancy and legal firms, logistics and freight forwarding companies, as well as banks and trade networks, all have their part to play.
“Delegates will be able to access information on export finance, hear how UKTI can assist businesses as well as presentations from successful businesses at different stages of their own export journey.”
Starting at 8.30am and including a networking lunch, the event at the University of Wolverhampton's Telford campus at Priorslee will also have an exhibition which includes companies which can assist businesses looking to trade overseas.