International Trade

Free event for businesses looking to expand to USA markets

Businesses in the Highlands and Islands looking to start doing business with the USA are being invited to a free workshop in Inverness 21 September.

Hosted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and organised in partnership with the Scottish North America Business Council, the event at Kingmills Hotel, Inverness, is for businesses who are interested in exporting to the USA or looking at the USA as their next market.

It will help businesses developing international trade regardless of their size and is open to businesses of all sectors.

As Scotland’s top international trading partner, the USA is worth £4.6b pa – 16% of all our export activity.

With four time zones across 50 states, the USA is a group of regional markets with different characteristics and business practices offering a huge variety of opportunities across a wide range of key sectors.

Susan Wilson, principal officer at the US Consulate in Edinburgh will deliver the keynote speech at the event. Mark Newlands, sector head at Scottish Development International (SDI) will also outline the support it can provide from its offices in the USA.

Delegates will also hear first-hand experience from Gilpin Bradley of Wester Ross Salmon and Heather McDonald from WooHa Brewing who are already doing substantial business across the Atlantic. They will share their knowledge, advice and top tips for exporting success.

Wooha Brewing recently secured a grant of £133,300 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help establish a new brewery at Kinloss, having reached production capacity at its previous site at Balmakeith Industrial Estate in Nairn.

Heather McDonald, managing director, said: “We have had an amazing first two years of trading which resulted in our need for more space. I look forward to attending the workshop next week and talking about our experience and how advice and support from various agencies helped us along the way.

“We have already created four new jobs at Kinloss on the back of the new development and we are trading extensively in Tennessee, with plans to expand exports in the coming months to Texas, Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia and longer term plans including California and Nevada.  

There will also be information available on how to get essential legal and financial advice and assistance.

Martin Johnson, HIE’s regional head of international trade, said: “The day will benefit anyone with progressive plans to grow, no matter what sector or size the business is. It presents a great opportunity to get some hard facts about why trading with the USA could be a strong move for your business.”

There will be a tourism breakout session with Christina Bruns, VisitScotland’s senior market manager for the Americas.

The event is part funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in partnership with SDI and HIE.

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