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Trade and Export

Trade and Exports

The Issue

One in three small firms trade oversees – either importing or exporting. This represents a serious contribution to the UK economy. 

In an increasingly globalised business landscape, exporting offers many opportunities for small businesses to compete, grow and innovate. However, the proportion of small firms that export – one in five – has remained static for many years. 

Our recent report – Destination Export: The small business export landscape – shows that finding customers, promoting products and dealing with exchange rates are the most common exporting challenges for small firms. Small firms are also held back by a lack of confidence or knowledge about where to go for support. Brexit presents an opportunity for the UK to negotiate new trade relationships with other countries. However, small businesses also face uncertainty over future access to the European market after the UK leaves the EU.

Action FSB have taken

  • We responded to a consultation for DIT on Export Strategy in April. Whilst we welcome the announcement of the Export Strategy in end of August in 2018, and the commitment to increase exports as a proportion of GDP from 30% to 35%, we are lobbying Government to make smaller businesses front and centre of concrete new interventions that recognise the link between exporting, innovation and enhanced productivity. 
  • We’re official partners on the Government’s Exporting is Great campaign, working to match individual businesses to interested overseas customers. We called to encourage smaller businesses to access both new markets and business support
  • We are lobbying to ensure that small businesses have simple access to European markets by organising roundtables with Government stakeholders to discuss customs policy and bring the voice of small businesses in discussions with policymakers from HMT, DIT, HMRC, and DexEU. 

Our Goal

To support small businesses to be in the best position to capitalise on the trade opportunities presented by Brexit. This also includes ensuring any free trade agreements reflect the specific needs and potential of small businesses.

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