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New ‘Go West’ programme to help 20 borough businesses hit export market in USA

Council seeking expressions of interest for 'first of its kind' drive in ABC area

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is looking for expressions of interest in their Go West: Export to North America Programme – the first of its kind in the area.

It will support 20 local small to medium sized companies explore exporting opportunities in the US market helping to further promote companies located in the borough.

Go West follows the Council’s recent successful ‘Export to GB’ programme, which is helping 15 local companies explore trade opportunities in Great Britain.

Vice Chair of the Economic Development & Regeneration Committee of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Colin McCusker said: “Central to our commitment to growing our local economy is listening and responding to business needs.  We’ve taken on board feedback from our businesses. We’ve now developed a suite of trade missions to new global markets.

“This ambitious programme of trade missions will support almost 70 local businesses to export over the coming months to key markets including Republic of Ireland, Great Britain, North America and India.

“Each will be delivered in partnership with key industry experts and export organisations to make sure each company receives the maximum benefit and opportunity to develop new networks and new customers.”

Go West will run until March 2018 and is open to companies in the borough across all sectors who are interested in exporting to the USA. The programme is being delivered by Belfast headquartered International Trade experts OCO Global who will support local companies with their first steps in entering the US market and any opportunities developed during the three planned visits.

Colin McCullagh, Director for Trade Services at OCO explains: “The past year has brought fresh challenges for SMEs looking to grow their business in international markets.

“With uncertainty over Europe and the devaluation of sterling, it is an opportune time for UK SMEs to turn to the US.  Experienced in supporting SMEs navigate the complexities of doing business in the US, OCO will support companies through the Go West Programme, accelerating new sales opportunities and mentoring companies from the first steps of their journey and beyond”.

Go West involves local companies agreeing to three US visits starting this Autumn. To give them the best possible start on their export journey, Companies have to focus on specific campaigns with pre-and post-mission workshops to prepare them for doing business in the US and meeting with potential customers and partners. The trade visits are focused on clusters or by target market region for maximum effect.

Council, through OCO, is now currently recruiting the top 20 SME’s for whom there is a potential US market opportunity with the resources to pursue it.  Participants will be required to fund their own travel and hotel expenses.

If you would like to put your company forward for consideration by June 16, or for further information please contact or telephone 028 90 241 849

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