Lancashire businesses attended the prestigious International Trade Club (ITC) Breakfast Meeting to hear from industry experts on the key issues facing those involved in international trade and to discuss the impact of Brexit.

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Over 60 local firms attended the meeting, which took place on Thursday October 4th at The Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Accrington.

Run by the International Business Team of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce (ELCC) and sponsored by local accountants and business advisers, Cassons, part of the Baldwins Group, the event’s speakers discussed the main challenges they are expecting to face after the UK’s exit from the EU.

Head of Cargo at MAG (Manchester Airports Group), Conan Busby, outlined how MAG is working with the UK Government, taking proactive steps towards ensuring trade continuity and enhanced connectivity is delivered to the Northern Powerhouse.

He said: “We are working hard to make sure that we are ready for all eventualities following Brexit. With continued investment in Manchester Airport’s infrastructure and making best use of our two runways we have capacity for more passengers and freight that will require access to the North of England.  We have already seen an increase in traffic to non-EU countries including a significant rise in the value of cargo to and from China.  We are working closely with the Government and our large portfolio of freight carriers to ensure that the smooth flow of cargo traffic will continue post-Brexit.”

Jane Gratton, head of business environment and skills at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), highlighted the importance of investing in transport infrastructure to connect businesses to markets and for businesses to have access to migrant skills and labour post-Brexit.

Jane explained that the BCC is in regular dialogue with ministers and government departments, passing on the views and priorities of the 75,000 businesses that are BCC members. She urged delegates to contact the ELCC International Business Team with any Brexit feedback, issues and case studies.

Guests also heard from David Orrell, managing director at Pronar UK Ltd, winners of the International Trade Club’s Outstanding Importer Achievement Award 2017, who shared his experiences and top business tips. David explained the very positive PR the company had received after winning the ITC award: “It opened a lot of doors for us and it felt like a seal of approval for everything that we have achieved so far.”

Les Nutter, Cassons’ managing partner, said: “It was another great event, which was well attended and proved to be of huge benefit to Lancashire businesses as many important topics were discussed.

“We welcomed a fantastic variety of speakers who shared their interesting stories and excellent tips.”

Mandy Lockett, international business director, thanked delegates and speakers for their contributions and encouraged local business to look at the British Chambers of Commerce ‘Checklist for Brexit’.

“Businesses need to start taking action now and be prepared for Brexit. Please use the checklist to help you start to consider what the impact could be for your business, so you can take steps accordingly.”

The ITC aims to help importers and exporters develop their knowledge of current issues and share their experiences of trading internationally.

The next event will be the Annual Trade Awards and Gala Luncheon which will take place on Thursday December 6th. If you would like to enter the awards or wish to attend this, or any future events, contact Marie White on 01254 356448 or email

For more information about the ITC, visit: