7 September 2016

Some problems just will not go away and for the Government the issue that keeps raising its head from the long grass is what to do about the need for extra airport capacity in the South East of England.

The Commission set up to examine the problem unanimously recommended that the problems of under-capacity in the UK’s airports should be solved by building a third Heathrow runway.

That was in July 2015 and, despite pressure from most business groups, the Government has so far managed to put off making a decision.

The current impasse is not helped by many of the politicians responsible for the ultimate decision, including the Prime Minister herself, representing constituents who would be adversely affected if the go-ahead was given to expand Heathrow.

The airport is keeping up pressure for a decision in its favour and has just launched a series of commitments to guarantee SME involvement in future work at the airport as well as a competition for a business to win a £5000 development grant.

This is part of collaboration between Heathrow, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Chambers of Commerce across the country, aimed at increasing the number of SMEs who benefit directly and indirectly from the economic opportunities provided by the UK’s only hub airport.

It is hoped that this current initiative, #SMEptember, will further promote the value SMEs provide to supply chains and trade across the country.

Among the pledges offered by Heathrow is a grants programme offering awards up to £2000 for SMEs to spend on travel and trade missions to help them to reach new markets.