Free flights and car hire for small businesses abroad

British Airways is giving away 5,000 free business-class flights and Avis is offering 1,500 free car rentals abroad to small businesses, to help them with their struggle against the recession.

The scheme is open to businesses with less than 250 employees who are relatively new to exporting or who are looking to expand overseas into new markets with the help of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), who are pushing the initiative along with the Daily Mail.

“With domestic consumer markets down and trade down in the UK it's important to search for new markets,” said Stephen Alambritis of the Federation of Small Businesses. “One of the biggest costs for small businesses trying to do that is the flights, so of course this will help.”

Richard Lambert, director-general of the CBI, said, “Firms supporting one another through the recession is a great thing to see. Trade is going to be a key driver of the UK's economic recovery and the relative weakness of sterling is making UK made goods increasingly attractive to overseas markets.”

UKTI will distribute 4,000 of the return flights and American Business (BAB) the remaining 1,000. BAB will be offering flights primarily to the US to existing members.

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