Small businesses from Crawley, Horley and Croydon in the UK are to attend trade shows in Las Vegas, Shanghai and Amsterdam after winning a competition held by Gatwick Airport, in partnership with the Department for International Trade.
Sussex-based Kikka Digga will attend the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. Its innovative labor-saving attachment takes the hard work out of digging by means of a clever foot plate lever system attached to the shaft of existing spades or forks – removing the need for bending or lifting.
United Minibuses and Coaches, which will attend the Technology Entrepreneurship trade fair in Shanghai, is the first firm in the UK coach and minibus industry to offer ‘Uber-style’ instant pricing and booking technology which – among other services – has been used by airlines to transport passengers by bus following flight delays and cancellations.
Attending the GreenTech trade fair in Amsterdam will be Shaking Hands, which offers an online platform showcasing local events, businesses and news, as well as organizing networking events and providing ongoing digital support.
The competition is designed to help local SMEs grow internationally and was launched in recognition of the role the airport plays in generating international trade – with £7.5bn (US$9.2bn) of international goods passing through in trade shown to support 113,800 UK jobs, many of them based locally.
Businesses in the area around Gatwick are 50% more likely to export than those in other parts of the UK, and the competition winners will be helped to take advantage of a range of international trade opportunities after receiving £2,000 (US$2,460) from Gatwick toward flights, hotels and trade show entry costs. The partnership with the Department for International Trade means that the winners will also receive a range of support, including information on international business opportunities and one-on-one meetings with experienced International Trade Advisers.
Tim Norwood, corporate affairs, planning and sustainability director, Gatwick Airport said, “Gatwick helps to drive the region’s economy through its supply chains and by enabling trade and business investment through the global connections it offers. We recognize, however, that small businesses are also vital for our local economy and face a range of challenges. By helping the winning firms attend international trade fairs, we hope they will discover new opportunities that can help them develop and grow.”