Department for International Trade have announced the end of the longstanding Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) which offers grants for SMEs to attend their first 6 international trade shows. As DIT Trade Challenge Partners for the food and drink sector, PS8 and FDEA have worked with hundreds of companies that have benefited from the TAP scheme and built long term business from contacts made at international trade shows run by our team.
At a time when business is being encouraged to explore new markets and there is a strong need to rebuild business lost through Brexit and Covid-19, this decision has been made at the worst possible time for British SME exporters.
As government priorities and promotional campaigns have changed, the TAP scheme has been a simple to understand and motivational tool that has enabled hundreds of companies to exhibit at international trade fairs whilst benefiting from the additional benefits, service and added value we deliver as sector specialist group organisers.
We understand that new ways of supporting companies are being developed by Treasury. We feel strongly that grants to attend trade shows must be ring fenced and not lost into other schemes that would dilute the benefits to individual companies. British exporters need consistency to support their export strategy, rather than tinkering with support mechanisms or being asked to take part in one off Government promotional initiatives.
If you agree, tell your MP.