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I have been very fortunate over the last few months, despite the suspension of a number of my foreign language tuition business courses due to Covid, to have been contracted into the Department for International Trade (DIT). As a former exporter of over 25 years, I am supporting DIT’s Export Growth Plan to kickstart a post-Covid recovery in combination with the Levelling Up agenda to address regional economic inequalities.

Some ten years ago I worked as a senior international trade adviser for DIT, or UK Trade and Investment as it was called then, so it has been enlightening to see how business support has changed since then; especially at this particularly challenging moment in time. I thought that my network might be interested in some key observations and suggestions for smooth exporting in 2021.

As we know, exporters have been hit with a double whammy of EU Exit and the Covid19 pandemic and would be forgiven for not knowing which way to turn in such unprecedented times.

Now that the EU exit transition period has concluded some UK exporters are managing to navigate their way through new processes, paperwork and policies so that their international customer orders are fulfilled on time and compliant with 2021 export regulations.

For some, including many here in my network, who have either undertaken additional in-house export training or forged deeper agreements with specialist carriers, the operational and logistical adjustments will likely bed-in over the coming weeks and months.

For others, however, whose preparations perhaps only recently began, there is major concern amongst the business community about missing customer deadlines, goods being turned back at freight terminals and reputational damage. For these businesses I would reassure you that there is a lot of help out there for you, it is predominantly a question of knowing how and where to access it.

Below is a list of 5 key resources which I believe every business should be aware of. There are many others which I could have added, including trade associations and business membership institutions, but for brevity and  instant access these are the most relevant.

Please feel free to comment below any questions, comments or your experiences so far.

  1. Visit https://www.gov.uk/transition where you can navigate through a number of industry and market scenarios to help you identify next steps to successfully export post EU transition.

 

  1. Contact your local DIT team for export advice and assistance – there are 9 regional teams across England, devolved administrations have their own equivalents.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukti-teams-in-the-english-regions

 

  1. Contact your local Growth Hub – each of the 38 English Local Enterprise Partnership areas has a growth hub. Get in touch with their advisers for specific advice and signposting. Devolved administrations have their own equivalents.

https://www.lepnetwork.net/local-growth-hub-contacts/

 

  1. Contact your local authority, many are still hosting export webinars and events as well as advice and support to businesses which currently or plan to export. https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

 

  1. Accredited Chambers of Commerce are highly knowledgeable and experienced with regard to export documentation and international trade regulations. Please note that membership terms and conditions apply. https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/page/join-a-chamber

 

Whilst I am missing engaging with those suspended HW Language Services clients terribly, I know that we will be able to resume our fun-filled German, French and Russian courses soon. Until then, if I can help businesses on their export journey I would love to hear from you.

Keep safe

Hayley

Founder of HW Language Services, DIT Trade Manager Great South West

 

HW Language Services provides German, French and Russian language tuition online and in-house to businesses trading internationally. Courses vary from weekly sessions, to sector specific workshops and byte size modules.

Get in touch at enquiry@hwlanguageservices.co.uk

https://hwlanguageservices.co.uk

HW Language Services provides German, French and Russian language tuition online and in-house to businesses trading internationally. Courses vary from weekly sessions, to sector specific workshops and byte size modules.

Get in touch at enquiry@hwlanguageservices.co.uk

https://hwlanguageservices.co.uk