Guidance for council to help businesses boost trade

The Local Government Association has published guidance to help councils support their local businesses to take advantage of new and emerging export opportunities across the globe.

A new report, commissioned by the LGA, finds that nearly 6.5 million jobs in the UK are reliant on our ability to export abroad, with firms in London and the south east having the highest number of export-supported jobs.

Many businesses look to their local authority for advice around arrangements for exporting of goods and services, as well as advice about the present regulatory framework. Councils are now being encouraged to use their infrastructure connections, such as local ports, freeports and airports and to work with their local communities to leverage existing international links and support businesses to take advantage of opportunities available to them.

Council leaders are sharing good practice and advice to support local authorities to produce internationalisation strategies, which will help councils to work with LEPs and other business groups to map potential inward investment and exporting opportunities in their local area.

Kevin Bentley, chair of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said: “Councils have long played a significant role supporting firms to export and are well placed to bring together businesses to take advantage of the opportunities available to them. As the UK embarks on a new chapter as an independent trading nation, it is clear that there will be new markets and new opportunities for export. It is important that councils are in a position to help businesses transition to this new context.

“This guide will help local authorities to build connections and work with partners domestically and internationally to help support greater exports and create jobs in their local communities. Councils stand ready to work with the government as an important partner to build back better and level up the country, including supporting local businesses to increase exports.”

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