Growth voucher scheme can help exporters

New help is available to exporters after chancellor, George Osborne, agreed to back a ‘growth voucher’ scheme proposed by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

A total of £30m has been committed to kick-start the scheme proposed in September 2012 by BCC which called for a £100m scheme open to 20,000 UK SMEs.

Under the scheme, designed to drive growth in the UK business services sector, £5,000 growth vouchers will be issued to enterprises to enable them to get access to advice to help them grow, including exporting which is vital to re-balance the British economy.

The vouchers are available for services provided by Chamber International including export training, market intelligence and trade shows -  all of which are first steps in exporters opening up new overseas markets.

Chamber International trade director, Tim Bailey, says: “Our region is experiencing a tidal wave of interest in exporting and we welcome the Government’s support for this initiative which is bound to encourage more business to explore the benefits of exporting.”

Other areas where Growth Vouchers can be used include legal, HR and accountancy, access to finance, marketing, business planning and workforce training.

Businesses wishing to apply for the Growth Voucher scheme are likely to need to demonstrate a sustainable business growth plan. Vouchers are available only on gaining advice, as opposed to boosting working capital, and will also have a time limit on use.