TEN export hubs from five states are to receive more than $4.9m under the Small and Medium Sized Export Hubs Initiative funded by the Commonwealth.

Trade minister Simon Birmingham welcomed the funding, saying the government recognised the current COVID-19 crisis had placed “immense pressure on our exporters”.

“This funding boost will help our SME exporters get more exposure in international markets allowing them to establish supply-chains as well as form new relationships with potential customers.”

The SME Export Hub Initiative seeks to provide each successful hub with matched funding of up to $1.5m for projects up to two years in length.

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One of the successful grant recipients has been Food South Australia who were allocated $194,467 in round two to expand their activities including servicing businesses on Kangaroo Island, which was devastated by bushfires and is now dealing with the pandemic.

Food South Australia CEO Catherine Sayer said the world had completely changed with the effect of COVID-19.

“Now more than ever, it is so important for businesses to look at their market diversification strategies and export is one of those,” Ms Sayer said.

“COVID-19 has added much more complexity to export and the SME Export Hub will assist food and beverage businesses navigate the challenges.”

Industry and science minister Karen Andrews said the grants would help SMEs to harness opportunities in international markets. “These grants will help get businesses back on the front foot after the disruption caused by this unprecedented pandemic,” Minister Andrews said.

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