19 Aug 2021 | 01.00 pm
Fast-Track Business Growth With Cross-Border Trade
InterTradeIreland can help you expand your trade into Northern Ireland
19 Aug 2021 | 01.00 pm
Cross-border trade is vital to economic recovery. It should be part of your business growth strategy, too, explains Anne-Marie McAteer of InterTradeIreland.
Cross-border trade is a significant slice of the economy. The latest figures indicate that it’s reached an all-time high of over €7.4bn and it’s growing at an average rate of 4% annually. In the last economic downturn, cross-border trade opportunities were a huge factor for driving growth and recovery for many businesses. This time around, it’s proving to be the same. In the face of the global pandemic, cross-border trade has been remarkably robust.
Essential To Growth Strategy
Through InterTradeIreland’s trade and innovation programmes, we generated over €100m in 2020. The supports directly impacted over 3,000 SMEs and supported the creation of 2,000 jobs.
This shows that, for Irish companies wanting to move forward, exporting to Northern Ireland is an option to seriously consider. For small businesses with limited resources or first-time exporters, the cross-border market is the perfect place to begin.
InterTradeIreland’s research also highlights that 75% of businesses that have gone on to sell further afield started their export journey through entrance into the other market on the island. Some businesses may lack the knowledge, skills and capability to access a new market in the opposite jurisdiction. The good news is that there is support available.
Support For First-Time Exporters
Businesses considering exporting for the first time may have doubts about its benefits or questions regarding its financial, logistical and regulatory implications. If you’re in the early stage of assessing your cross-border potential, then the Trade Accelerator Voucher (TAV) can help.
The TAV programme provides businesses with financial assistance of up to €1,200 towards obtaining professional advice in relation to issues such as regulation, taxation and currency, as well as help to scope the potential cross-border sales and marketing opportunities for your business.
Planning For Recovery
Before the pandemic, InterTradeIreland had looked at major areas of opportunity for cross-border trade and business development. The area of supply chains is becoming more important than ever – there is an obvious need to diversify supply chains and make them more robust.
To move forward, we’re helping firms take a strategic look at their supply chains, and supporting SMEs to develop and win new business through sales development programmes such as Elevate and Acumen.
The Elevate programme is designed for micro-enterprises that want to identify a new cross-border market and new customers, and to win new business. Up to €5,750 in funding is available for specialist sales and marketing support, which can be used to help businesses develop a cross-border sales and marketing plan.
For more established businesses that are ready to take a more formal step onto the export ladder, the Acumen programme will help to fund the salary of a salesperson in Northern Ireland. Acumen will fund up to €18,750 for a full-time position, or €10,000 for a part-time position.
Not only can cross-border trade be a huge driver towards economic recovery, but the knowledge transfer of trade expertise can be used to export further afield and enable real business growth for the future. Looking further ahead, there are many tangible opportunities for cross-border cooperation that will deliver mutual benefits, in terms of business development and international competitiveness.
If you are interested in the benefits of cross-border trade as a means to support your business, InterTradeIreland can help. In addition to our programme supports, we have the knowledge and expertise to guide you with your first step into the export market. Find out now how we’re supporting sales growth.
InterTradeIreland is a powerful resource for business growth, and it can help steer your SME through Covid-19 and Brexit. It has a range of supports to suit different business needs. Visit the InterTradeIreland website for more information, at www.intertradeireland.com/sales-growth
Photo: Anne-Marie McAteer