Belfast Telegraph

Small businesses exporting more goods as confidence is up despite rising costs

Smaller firms are feeling increasingly confident despite "spiralling" business costs, spurred by more international trade, a new study reveals.

Research among 1,245 members of the Federation of Small Businesses found that most exported more goods in recent months, with high expectations that the trend will continue.

Higher business costs included more expensive fuel, wages and the exchange rate, said the FSB.

Chairman Mike Cherry said: "It's hugely encouraging to see our small businesses trading more overseas, driving an exports-led recovery.

"We know small firms that export have higher turnovers than those who rely on the domestic market, so it's crucial that the Government maximises cross-border trade opportunities for small firms.

"That includes negotiating an ambitious free trade agreement with the EU as part of the Brexit process.

"We cannot rely in the long-term on the boost that exporters have received from a weak pound. To maintain export growth, we need to focus on opening up new international markets and getting more small firms exporting."