The first of the two programmes, ‘USA in a Day’ live event, is taking place across October 12-13 and will give businesses a deep understanding of the culture of business and consumer expectations in the US. Firms will also learn how to effectively research the market to identify demand as well as what routes to market use at different stages of the journey.

Companies will also find out how social media can positively impact growth while learning how to harness the medium to effectively build strong relationships in the States.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) team will also be available for one-to-one mentoring sessions to help firms create a comprehensive export plan and strategy tailored for the US market.

The programme is being launched as recent reports state that the US was the UK’s largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2021 accounting for 16.7% of total UK trade.

The south west was the third largest exporter to the United States in 2020 after the South East and London, exporting a total of £3.2 billion worth of goods, or 9% of overall UK goods exports to the US.

Ameeta Virk, USA Markets Leader at Business West said: “The United States presents a fantastic opportunity for Cornish companies in a range of sectors due to the strong and long-standing relationship between the UK and the US.

Ameeta Virk

“This programme will equip businesses with the skills to strategically plan for US market entry to ultimately win business in the US market.

“I would encourage businesses in the region from early-stage to those with presence in the market to take advantage of the expert advice available to help kickstart their exports into this lucrative market.”

Businesses can find out more information about the programme and apply here.

Chris Wood, founder of Ocean 3D, a company which creates accessible 3D tours, has been supported by DIT to export to the US. He said: “DIT has helped to get us in touch with the right people to get presidential exemptions lifted while ensuring we have the right paperwork.

“DIT is now supporting us to identify regions of the US where we should be focusing our efforts through providing useful market data.

“The best advice I can offer to companies is to get in touch with DIT as they’ve been brilliant in supporting us to grow overseas. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”

Chris Wood

Match-funded grants available for Cornish firms to access business support

As part of the Export Trade Forum, Business West is also offering a range of match-funded grants to eligible businesses across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly that are seeking to boost their international sales.

Fast Forward Cornwall is a short-term offer which will provide businesses with the opportunity to grow their exports while improving their international digital presence.

Companies will benefit from a match-funded grant offer which has been broken down into five expertly crafted packages, each designed to help firms achieve a ‘global digital’ status. This includes courses on website internationalisation, website localisation, a Global SEO Review, support to help companies promote products on the Amazon US marketplace and advice on setting up targeted advertising campaigns.

All grant offers must be match-funded with a maximum total value of £2,499.00, with applicants being required to contribute funds between the value of £1000.00 and £1,244.00 towards the awarded activity.

The launch of the programme comes as reports state that international trade will be the key to the UK’s post-COVID recovery.

Nigel Barker, Digital Marketing Adviser at Business West said: “During a time when there is restricted travel, limited trade shows, and few face-to-face meetings, having a strong digital presence is crucial for businesses to remain competitive.

“I would encourage firms of any size to apply to give them the best chance of boosting their sales through international trade and growing post-COVID.”

Businesses can apply here by completing a short expression of interest form. Spaces on the programme are limited so companies are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Companies will be selected by the end of October.

The programmes are part of the Export Trade Forum project, a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded programme in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly also delivered by Business West.