Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai announced on Monday that some NIS 80 million will be allotted to a campaign aimed at strengthening small businesses in the Galilee, Negev and communities around Gaza.
Yishai's plan, set to run as a trial period for 18 months, will focus on increasing exports of the region's small companies to customers around the world. During the trial period, the ministry will select 200 companies and aid their export capabilities by providing advisers and exhibitions abroad.
According to Rafi Brender, deputy director of the Foreign Trade Association in the ministry, the goal of the program is to help elevate these weaker business communities to the same level as those in Herzliya and Ra'anana.
Brender said the ministry would work with every individual company in matching them to customer bases in foreign countries. He added, however, that despite the government assistance, each company would still have to pay for the bulk of export activities.
Should the trial period prove a success, the program will be expanded to include more small businesses, Yishai said.
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