Exporting on the agenda for majority of companies
Almost two-thirds of small businesses in Leicestershire are considering exporting goods or services, a survey has found.
The finding comes at the start of Export Week, during which small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) will be encouraged to do more to sell overseas.
Office furniture supplier Viking, whose UK head office is based in Beaumont Leys, Leicester, quizzed 47 county firms as part of a larger national survey.
John O'Keeffe, commercial director at Viking, said: "Businesses are looking to grow and meet their targets for growth, which means in the current climate they need to look overseas and consider their markets abroad."
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The same survey found more than one in three businesses in the county had a positive outlook on the future of their business and were predicting growth, compared to one in four across the whole of the East Midlands.
Government export agency UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is hosting a number of free events as part of Export Week. The main one in Leicestershire takes place at the Caterpillar in Desford on Thursday, where exporters will talk about the reasons behind their success.
Peter Hogarth, regional director of UKTI, said: "The past year has been full of challenges for companies but, despite this, statistics show the number of overseas sales are increasing from the East Midlands.
"However, to get growth, we need even more companies to export. After all, selling overseas is the big opportunity given the flat home market."
A separate report published today by Lloyds TSB said new business in the East Midlands continued to grow solidly.
In October, new orders from both the UK and abroad rose for the 13th time in the past 14 months, with the rate of growth in new business at East Midlands companies faster than the UK average.
Firms continued to take on extra staff during October, although the rate of job creation slowed to the weakest in 14 months.