How Local Councils can help Exporters

Posted on: 10th September 2021

The Local Government Association (LGA) has published new guidance to help councils support their local businesses to take advantage of new and emerging export opportunities across the globe.

The guide talks about the importance of local areas working with the Department for International Trade, business support organisations such as Chambers of Commerce and professional service organisations. This is something that the Kent International Business partners are already doing and you can find more information about the support that we can offer to Kent businesses on this website.

You can click on this link to view the report.

The report, which was commissioned by the LGA and produced by Value Adage with support from the Department for International Trade, finds that nearly 6.5 million jobs in the UK are reliant on our ability to export, with firms in London and the south east having the highest number of export-supported jobs.

Many businesses look to their local authority for advice around arrangements for exporting of goods and services, as well as advice about the present regulatory framework. Kent County Council’s trading standards team has been providing invaluable advice to local businesses about some of the changes in regulations due to Brexit and the Kent & Medway Growth Hub business advisor team has also been providing support to local companies in dealing with a range of challenges they’re facing with continuing to do business with the EU.

Councils have an important role to play in supporting a greater volume of exports from small and medium sized businesses and are being encouraged to use their infrastructure connections, such as local ports to work with their local communities to leverage existing international links and support businesses to take advantage of opportunities available to them.

Kent County Council has run many projects and initiatives to help Kent businesses to access opportunities in overseas markets, especially with Kent’s neighbouring EU regions. We currently have a range of projects designed to help Kent businesses to trade internationally which are supported by the wider KIB partnership and our international contacts:

  • The SEED Project: support for food & drink, digital & creative and life science companies with virtual trade missions focusing on opportunities in the US, Ireland, UAE, Vietnam, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
  • The IMPULS project: connecting Kent Life Science businesses to companies and Life Science clusters in NW France as well as providing virtual attendance at a range of international industry events.
  • The Boost4Health project: micro-financing support for Life Science companies to travel to meet potential business contacts in mainland Europe or to commission a small piece of international market insight work.
  • The SME Internationalisation project: commissioning research work to find out more about the impact of the pandemic on exporting in Kent and to make recommendations to enable the KIB partners to develop new ways of helping Kent companies with international trade in the future.