Companies across the Marches are being urged to take advantage of a fund to help them develop their international markets.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched its new Internationalisation Fund for eligible businesses in England.

Match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available to help support companies which want to develop and expand their international operations.

To secure a grant, companies will need to fund a proportion of the costs themselves. This will be either 40 or 50 per cent of the total cost.

The funding can be used to help meet the cost of:

• Market research
• Intellectual property advice
• Translation services
• International social media/SEO
• Trade fairs (where no TAP funding is available)
• Independent market visits
• Consultancy and other international commercial services

Marches LEP Access to Finance champion Paul Kalinauckas urged businesses across the region to make use of the fund.

“This funding can offer real help to businesses across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to develop their global footprint. If any company is thinking of developing or expanding their international operations, this fund can be a huge help.”

To qualify for funding, the business must be based in England, be a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) with up to 250 employees, have an annual turnover of less than €50 million or annual balance sheet of no more than €43 million and no more than 25% of the business should be owned by an enterprise which is not a SME.

The fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).