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SME Manufacturing support and COVID-19

SME Manufacturing support and COVID-19

Manufacturing is being hit hard and so are the economies that depend on it

Analysis of support provided to manufacturing SMEs across 17 LEP areas shows that:

  • While the number of manufacturers supported has been maintained since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, demand for support has shifted from the larger SMEs (small and medium firms) towards micro businesses.
  • This has also led to a change in the type of support. There is more demand for shorter term marketing and product development projects and less for productivity and capacity building projects.
  • This pattern is understandable in the short-term: larger SMEs have re-trenched and many are not considering new projects.
  • However, these are also the bigger employers, core to their local and regional economies. As the economy recovers, it will be important to shift this pattern back, ensuring that support reaches larger SME manufacturers and delivers projects that rebuild capacity.
  • The Manufacturing Growth Programme is more important than ever in this.