Small businesses in the South West received a boost this week as the Department for International Trade (DIT) Export Hub visited Salisbury to deliver several masterclasses on how to start exporting.
The visit on Wednesday came as part of day-long series of events for the South Wiltshire Business Expo, with more than 260 companies present and key note speeches from local business leaders highlighting what the region has to offer.
The visit of the Export Hub provided businesses with the tools they need to build on the success of the region, with DIT’s regional International Trade Advisers on hand to set out the key steps that companies need to consider if they want to begin their exporting journey.
Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said:
I’m delighted to see businesses across Salisbury and the South West exporting their products to markets far and wide such as Canada, China and India.
Exporting has the power to create jobs and drive local growth, that is why we stand ready with a wide range of support such as trade missions, our award-winning credit agency UK Export Finance and great.gov.uk.
The owner of one local clothing manufacturer was delighted to attend the event. Liz Willis said:
I can’t believe these amazing opportunities exist and I wasn’t aware. It’s unbelievable that DIT are offering all of this support for free.
I’m going to go home and make contact with the International Trade Adviser straight away. I’ve been confused about distributors and agents for some time and this has provided clarity and given me something to work on which will hopefully help me export into the US.
UK exports of goods and services as a whole increased by 12.1% to £622 billion last year, and with the UK gearing up to leave the European Union, the department will shortly deliver a new Export Strategy to set out the government’s ambition to get businesses of all sizes exporting their products.
Top 5 ways DIT supports businesses to export:
great.gov.uk - export platform which lists thousands of export opportunities worth millions of pounds. It also puts firms in touch with global buyers at the click of a mouse.
UK Export Finance - the UK’s export credit agency provides financial support like capital loans, to ensure no viable export deal fails due to lack of finance and insurance. UKEF has recently partnered with 5 of the UK’s biggest banks, to help small businesses easily access government-backed financial support.
Face-to-face support for exporters in England - delivered via a network of around 250 International Trade Advisers (ITAs). ITAs are managed by 9 delivery partners who operate in each of the 9 English regions.
Trade shows – DIT supports trade shows across the world to showcase the best of UK companies from sectors including life sciences, automotive and food and drink.
Board of Trade – with representatives from the business community to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of modern businesses. It meets 4 times a year rotated around the UK guaranteeing all parts of the Union have a chance to raise the issues most important to them.