Manchester Growth Company debuts £9.5m fund to support local exporters

Greater Manchester Export Fund will offers businesses loans of up to £500,000 to boost export activity and make Manchester more competitive

A £9.5m export fund has been announced by the Manchester Growth Company, on behalf of Greater Manchester, to help local businesses increase their export sales and make Manchester more globally competitive.

A minimum £2.5m of the Greater Manchester Export Fund will be awarded to small and medium-sized businesses in the area with loans of up to £500,000, which can be used to support export activity and fulfill export orders.

The remaining £7m will be used as a grant fund to support small businesses with up to 20% of the total cost of any expenditure intended to support export growth such as new machinery, site refurbishment, consultancy services, research and development, attendance at trade fairs, international trips and training.

The fund is primarily aimed at supporting businesses in the manufacturing sector, but businesses from other sectors may also be eligible. Grant projects must be completed and funding claimed by April 2017.

Mark Hughes, chief executive of the Manchester Growth Company, commented:

“The Greater Manchester Export Fund will transform the availability of growth funding and export finance to allow firms to achieve their potential, supporting the businesses on which Greater Manchester’s economic future rests.

“The scheme will directly create and safeguard over a thousand jobs and will help to drive competitiveness, contributing to the UK target of achieving £1 trillion in exports by 2020.”

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