North Somerset firms urged to explore the ‘global market place’

MP Liam Fox joins the Small Business Saturday roadshow in Portishead.

MP Liam Fox joins the Small Business Saturday roadshow in Portishead. - Credit: Archant

North Somerset’s small businesses were given vital tips on how to extend their reach overseas during a Portishead event held to mark Small Business Saturday.

MP Liam Fox, who represents North Somerset in the House of Commons but is also the Government’s International Trade Secretary, attended the export roadshow to help pass on essential tips.

Dr Fox met representatives of a number of local business to launch a How To Sell Overseas Guide, which is designed for firms who may be dabbling in international trade for the first time.

He also held talks with members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to discuss potential problems or barriers for firms looking to export their wares to markets around the globe.

Dr Fox said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and Small Business Saturday provides a great opportunity to celebrate this and highlight that there has never been a better time for all our dynamic and creative businesses to export their goods and services abroad.”


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His words seem to be reflected by statistics which show a 17 per cent rise in export business for companies across the South West for the 12 months up to June 2017.

That stands against a national picture of £602billion of UK goods and services being sold overseas, an annual rise of 13.7 per cent.

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However, less than one in 10 UK firms deals overseas – revealing the potential for growth for those who do not.

Indeed, the Government estimates that as many as 300,000 UK firms produce goods or services which could be experted – but are not.

Sam Holliday, the FSB’s West of England development manager, said: “The FSB was delighted to be involved in this important roundtable discussion on how we can encourage more of our local SMEs to delve into the export market.

“It is fitting that we should meet on Small Business Saturday – the biggest profile-raising day of the year for SMEs – because one of the best ways many of our small businesses can grow and prosper is to think of the whole world as being their potential market place.

“We therefore look forward to encouraging more people to turn that ‘global market place’ dream into a reality.”

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