Blackburn wallpaper firm boss: We’re being held up

Blackburn Citizen: Andrew Graham Andrew Graham

THE boss of flagship Blackburn wallpaper manufacturer Graham and Brown has warned Business Secretary Vince Cable that government support for exporters is ‘slow and uncompetitive’.

Andrew Graham has demanded a change of gear and sent him a six-point plan.

He says the government's export finance programme should be run by the private sector to speed it up.

Mr Graham, whose company exports to 75 countries, said policy-makers should ‘back the best’ targeting mid-sized businesses rather than focusing on start-ups.

He said: “It is fashionable for politicians to talk about rebalancing the economy by helping businesses to export more, but the reality is that those in power are often hampering firms rather than helping them because of a naïve system that is too bureaucratic, slow and uncompetitive.

"We found this ourselves when attempting to reach into new markets, like North Africa and Russia. UK Export Finance treats lending money for export as a massive risk but doesn’t consider the jobs and growth created, in contrast to countries like Germany and Canada.

“The other mistake politicians make is focusing on very small businesses which have never exported, instead of backing the best.

“If we want to avoid becoming a bit-part player we need to back the winners who have the best chance of creating more jobs and growth. We have to look at which businesses have the most potential to grow.”

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “Andrew is absolutely right. The government should listen to him.”

A UKTI spokesperson said: “Last year UKTI helped over 40,000 firms to sell their products and services abroad.

“We have written to every medium-sized firm in the country to offer them export support and we are trebling the number of dedicated trade advisors.”

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:04pm Thu 29 May 14

coates warder says...

not as held up as me mate.2 hours every time just to get into your yard due to health and safety a massive yard and only 1 wagon at a time .sort your act out you are costing haulage firms hundreds of pounds everytime they del or pick up from you
not as held up as me mate.2 hours every time just to get into your yard due to health and safety a massive yard and only 1 wagon at a time .sort your act out you are costing haulage firms hundreds of pounds everytime they del or pick up from you coates warder
  • Score: 4

9:02pm Thu 29 May 14

ste.g says...

vote ukip
vote ukip ste.g
  • Score: 4

7:47am Fri 30 May 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

Grants and loans from taxpayer cash are not the answer to business woes. Reducing red tape and business costs are.

The first step on that road is to get us out of the EU as soon as possible. Like ste.g says above, vote UKIP
Grants and loans from taxpayer cash are not the answer to business woes. Reducing red tape and business costs are. The first step on that road is to get us out of the EU as soon as possible. Like ste.g says above, vote UKIP BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 4

6:50pm Sat 31 May 14

ConcernedOssy says...

CABLE NOW THERE'S ANOTHER USELESS PRAT TO GET RID OF !!!
CABLE NOW THERE'S ANOTHER USELESS PRAT TO GET RID OF !!! ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree