Heathrow Airport is to carry out a consultation with business support group, Enterprise Nation, to explore the impact of expanding the hub on the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SME).
The airport says the findings will be used to develop an SME growth strategy within Heathrow’s expansion plans. It believes this will help export growth in line with the government target of £1 trillion ($1.4 trillion) of exports by 2020. Heathrow says in 2015, exports to China via Heathrow grew by 117 per cent to £7.6 billion, and with 40 new long-haul routes to growing markets and improved domestic connectivity, UK productivity and exports will grow further.
Heathrow Airport chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye says: “SMEs are the backbone of the British economy and when they export they flourish. For small exporters, that starts with a box on a plane – usually from Heathrow.”
“With expansion we’ll open up 40 new long-haul trading links and improve domestic connectivity – making it cheaper and more efficient for SMEs to sell their products in fast growing markets around the world.”
Enterprise Nation founder, Emma Jones says: “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 findings of the consultation will be announced in April.