Air­port’s strat­egy to woo small busi­nesses

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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