The Sponsors Alliance
For most of the last 10 years UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and now the Department for International Trade has changed from a major supporter of UK industry to one that is almost invisible, unsupportive and at times damaging.
During 2012 to 2013 a significant investment in Tradeshow Access Programme support had lead to a huge increase in SMEs starting to export and going in to new markets.
In October 2014 UKTI decided to cut support to the Tradeshow Access Programme (this programme gives grants to new and new to market SME exporters) mid year, breaking agreements arranged a year previously. This caused the cancellation, where possible, to UK groups exhibiting overseas, financial hardship to companies and some ATO's.
In 2016 UKTI delayed the release of support to companies for the Tradeshow Access Programme for the 2016/17 financial year. This reduced the number of events and size, where UK groups were present at overseas exhibitions.
The new Department for International Trade has carried on where UKTI left off, again delaying - even further this time - the announcement of support for 2017/18 and then cutting the number of grants available to companies to 6 (from 12).
2018 has seen yet further delays and cuts to the number of grants.
Sponsors Alliance members reprent many sectors accross the UK (see member list) and in turn they help their members to export through overseas market information, UK organised groups at overseas exhibitions, providing advice and mentoring.
We take UK companies to export opportunities through exhibitions, missions, market research and general advice.
If the UK economy is to rebalanced and continue to grow it's exports, the govenment must deliver a consistant and were appropriate, properly funded, stratgery to encourage companies to export.
The Sponsors Alliance believes a funded Tradeshow Access Programme, that compares with our EU competitors, will significantly help SMEs to achieve this.
If you support the Sponsors Alliance position and wish to comment, please email the the Sponsors Alliance using the form below:-