BUSINESS leaders in Hampshire have welcomed a Government initiative to help medium-sized businesses export, saying it would benefit firms across the south.

Every medium-sized firm in the county will be offered tailored trade advice and an intensive programme of support to help them start exporting, the Government has announced.

The move has been welcomed by business leaders, who say the knock-on effects will be far reaching for the entire region.

Gary Jeffries, the chairman of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, (LEP), said it would not be just the mid-sized businesses themselves that will benefit from an increase in exports.

“The ripples will be felt much wider across the economy, with logistics firms, packaging companies and a whole range of associated businesses reaping the benefits.

“Support like this from central Government, along with locally-driven initiatives such as our Growing Places and Regional Growth funds, should give Solent businesses the tools they need to steam ahead.”

Norman Armstrong, a partner at Southampton-based financial advisors Grant Thornton, said: “We’ve recently undertaken our own research with over 400 mid-sized businesses and they told us that support with international expansion was one of the top three challenges they faced.

“This latest announcement from the Government is therefore welcome news and could provide Hampshire businesses with the final surge of energy they need to grow globally.”

Trade Minister Lord Livingston made the latest pledge of support for companies with a turnover of between £25m and £250m saying that these companies have the potential to be powerhouses for the UK economy.