Small business leaders in the UK prefer to see an expansion at London Gatwick Airport rather than London Heathrow, according to a YouGov poll.

The results have been published just before the takeoff of the Enterprise Nation’s Go Global mission to the North Atlantic, which will see 65 small businesses fly to New York from Gatwick Airport on Norwegian Air’s Dreamliner.

Norwegian Air has recently doubled the frequency of their flights from Gatwick to New York and Los Angeles, owing to an increase in demand. It is the only low-cost airline to offer long-haul flights to the US.

"Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy and they depend on affordable travel to grow their businesses."

The poll’s results revealed that the small businessmen placed great importance on the travel cost. A total of 53% interviewed cited the cost as the most important consideration for booking a flight. The number increased to 63% when younger businessmen were asked the same question.

London Gatwick Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate said: "Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy and they depend on affordable travel to grow their businesses.

"Building a second runway at Gatwick will promote greater competition among airports and airlines, delivering reduced fares, better services and more choice for passengers."

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Commenting on the importance of the Gatwick expansion, Surrey-based business Monochrome director Adrian Munn said: "We are really looking forward to travelling out to New York to bang the drum for Gatwick and showcase what the region has to offer to leading US businessmen and women.

"We want to make sure that everyone hears how many vibrant, innovative and creative companies there are in the region.

"It is very important to us that these brands, start-ups and entrepreneurs don’t just see Gatwick as a world-class transport hub. We want them to see that when they land in Gatwick, they don’t need to get a train into London, because there is a wealth of businesses offering just as much, if not more, than London does."

Image: Small businesses say they prefer Gatwick Airport expansion. Photo: courtesy of Gatwick Airport.