The International Trade Club, sponsored by Cassons, is going from strength to strength and now totals 109 members. Of these 14 are actively contributing to the work of Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as they negotiate the exit from the EU.

At this month’s breakfast meeting 4 speakers provided fellow exporters with help and advice to aid their export business.

To view the photos from the day please click here

Richard Horn from SI Risk who specialise in assessing the risk of exporters who travel the countries of the world to sell their goods and services. Richard highlighted some of the simple steps that should be done before travelling to a foreign country. He pointed out that companies have a duty of care to their employees who travel abroad and that they need to assess the risk of travelling to that country and take the necessary steps to look after their staff.

This work will include desk research to understand some of the specific issues facing visitors to the country and in some cases an extraction plan to quickly and effectively get that member of staff out of the country. SI Risk themselves offer a tracking service to business via a phone app that enables them to know where that person is at any time. They also highlighted the issue of bribery and corruption which was a way of life in some countries but against UK law, even if it occurs overseas.

The 2nd speaker of the day was Helen Cowley, a tax partner at Cassons. Cassons are members of BKR International, a global association of independent accounting and business advisers with over 500 offices in 80 countries. Helen told the audience that this was a network of support they could call on to assist their clients.
Helen also briefed the audience on the complexities of VAT when trading abroad. She outlined the differences between trading within the EU and when trading with countries outside the EU. She highlighted that the formalities when trading with EU countries are less onerous where export controls and shipping regulations add to the burden for businesses. She said “Going forward this may be an issue when we are no longer part of the ‘Single Market’.”

The third speaker of the day, Mike Nunnerley, spoke of how LinkedIn and played a major role in helping develop overseas sales particularly in Australia. Mike’s company SolX Energy, based in Padiham, produce Energy Efficient Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems.
Mike, who has 8,750 connections on LinkedIn, as used his connections to contact organisations across the world. One of his connections with Australian company Woolworths was with a guy who originates from Yorkshire and supports Sheffield Wednesday. Woolworths are one of Australia’s major supermarket chains. Following these initial connections Mike has visited Australia and has been able to meet with people from Woolworths main competitor Coles, who own 780 stores.

Mike told us “SolX Energy are now having their systems trialed in Australia and they hope to be rolling them out to each of their stores from early 2018.”

The final speaker of the morning was Stef Heywood from the Chamber. Stef is working on the Reginal Programme that supports exporters. The programme, which runs until October 2018, offers a range of support to businesses. This includes tailored support to meet the specific needs of companies. This may include financial support to attend an exhibition overseas. There are regular events planned and as well as overseas missions. Specialist consultants can also be made available to assist companies with specific issues.

Stef asked businesses to get in touch with her to find out how they could benefit and that it was important to do this as soon as possible.

All presentations can be downloaded here:-
SI Risk
SolX Energy
ERDF – Enhancing SMEs International Trade Performance

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 5th and new members are always welcomed.

To view the photos from the day please click here

For further information please contact Marie White on 01254 356448 or