A free business programme to help Cornish business grow overseas will be taking place this month.

Business West, supported by the Department for International Trade, has created two free programmes of support funded by the European Regional Development Fund for eligible Cornish businesses to help them grow their sales overseas.

The first of the two programmes, ‘USA in a Day’ live event, is taking place across 12-13 October in St. Austell 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.

Kerry Stagg, International Research Advisory Manager will support companies to undertake market research to identify how their business can make the most out of the opportunities the USA can offer.

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.

"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."

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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 could 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.

Businesses can apply here by completing a short expression of interest form.

Spaces on the programme are limited so companies are encouraged to apply.

Companies will be selected by the end of October.

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