Airport’s strategy to woo small businesses
HEATHROW Airport is to ask small and mediumsized firms how it can best help them grow.
It is teaming up with the small business support group Enterprise Nation to consult about how an expanded airport could best be tailored to meet their needs.
Enterprise Nation’s 65,000 members will be invited to contribute to the study, which is set to begin in February, with the findings due to be published in April.
Heathrow says a third runway would enable it to offer 40 new long-haul routes to fast-growing markets, as well as improving domestic connections, which its claims would be a boon to businesses of all sizes.
It says the consultation findings will be used to develop an SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) growth strategy for expansion, with a focus on growing exports.
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: “Exploring ways to make exporting more accessible and achievable for small firms is a key focus for us this year.
“We see firms all the time that are exporting all over the world – sometimes directly from their kitchen table.
“What will be fascinating to explore will be how they feel about growth, what they need to take their business to the next level and how intervention and support can be tailored to boost their existing export capacity to drive that growth.
“A quarter of all UK exports by value already travel through the airport. It will be interesting to see how an expanded Heathrow could make a real difference at a time when more people than ever before are starting and growing businesses.”
The Airports Commission has recommended a third runway at Heathrow over a second one at Gatwick.
But the Government will announce its preference this summer, following a more detailed look at environmental concerns surrounding expansion.