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News

Manchester Business Community Gathers to Discuss Exports
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A handpicked audience of Manchester business men and women gathered to discuss tackling the barriers to UK export growth last week, at an event to launch URICA’s export survey.

URICA CEO Lindsay Whitelaw began the evening by highlighting some of the survey’s key findings. He said he had been shocked to discover that 65% of businesses ask for pro-forma payment on exports.

“Now if there’s ever a break on export growth it’s that,” said Mr Whitelaw.

Guest of honour Lord Digby Jones took the stage next and set the tone for the night as he called on Manchester’s business community to promote its essential role in UK society.

 “You are the most important part of our society. Without you there is no taxation, there is no public sector, there’s not a job in the country. If it weren’t for the wealth that you create there wouldn’t be a single penny of tax paid in Britain,” he said.

“But we have got to export. We have got to earn our living in overseas markets,” said Lord Jones.

He said the large corporates were already doing well at exporting, but the UK must do more to promote export growth among SMEs.

The event drew avid supporters of URICA as well as people who had never heard of URICA but were attracted by the promise of a speech from the eminent Lord Jones.

Fortunate weather drew the crowd onto the roof terrace of the Great John Street hotel, overlooking the iconic Granada studios. “Manchester is known for being an entrepreneurial city, and that really comes across tonight,” said Des Smith of Business Doctors.

Long-established local businesses such as the Ruia Group, PBSI and Chargepoint Technology came along, as did Pro-Manchester, UKTi, Baker Tilly, Deloitte and Grant Thornton.

URICA’s collaborative partner Euler Hermes as well as its investors RSA and the British Business Bank all attended and supported the event.

Mr Whitelaw ended the speeches for the evening by asking the crowd to spread the word that there is support available for British SMEs exporting.

“Together maybe we can start making a difference to the SME in the UK, which really is the engine room of growth,” said Mr Whitelaw.

Craig Pinnington of Euler Hermes said innovation in financial markets “is exactly what we need” to support export growth. Pro-Manchester’s John Ashcroft said an international network to help British SMEs export “could really do big things for the UK economy”.

Gary Howse, CEO of Liverpool-based manufacturer Chargepoint, said: “URICA are absolutely crucial for what we are trying to do.”

Lord Jones summed up the evening as he left: “It was in a great location, professionally executed, with a hand-picked audience of interesting and interested people. I felt proud to be part of the home team, and even more proud to be promoting something which is not just innovative but great for our country.”

 

 “Together maybe we can start making a difference to the SME in the UK, which really is the engine room of growth,” said Mr Whitelaw.

Craig Pinnington of Euler Hermes said innovation in financial markets “is exactly what we need” to support export growth. Pro-Manchester’s John Ashcroft said an international network to help British SMEs export “could really do big things for the UK economy”.

Gary Howse, CEO of Liverpool-based manufacturer Chargepoint, said: “URICA are absolutely crucial for what we are trying to do.”

Lord Jones summed up the evening as he left: “It was in a great location, professionally executed, with a hand-picked audience of interesting and interested people. I felt proud to be part of the home team, and even more proud to be promoting something which is not just innovative but great for our country.”

Source:  URICA,