A financial support package for small to medium sized business has been announced by Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox.
The government says this is the first time such an extensive financing package has been made available to small businesses exporting to fast-growing emerging markets from the UK.
The package will include:
- The Small Deal Initiative – to back the army of exporters undertaking the smaller contracts that underpin British trade
- Extending financial support to firms in exporters’ supply chains as well as exporters themselves
- The General Export Facility – covers general costs for exporters, rather than just costs related to a specific export deal
The Secretary of State said: “The Small Deals Initiative sees UKEF guaranteeing the loans of potential overseas buyers of British goods to make UK bids more competitive. The General Export Facility also allows UKEF to support exporters’ overall working capital requirements, rather than requiring support to be linked to the needs of a specific export.
“Recognising that it takes more than one business to deliver an export contract, UKEF has extended eligibility for its support to companies in exporters’ supply chains.
“British businesses play an import role in global supply chains. The latest available data shows that nearly a quarter (23.7%) of UK exports in 2015 were embedded in the exports of other countries.
“This more flexible approach will give smaller business greater access to bonds and working capital.”
Over the past decade UKEF has provided over £30 billion-worth of support helping over 600 UK exporters to grow their business in overseas markets
77% of business supported by UKEF in 2017 to 2018 were SMEs
Latest statistics from the ONS show UK firms sold more overseas in the 2018/19 financial year, £639.9 billion, than at any time since records began