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North East tech companies fly to Atlanta on trade mission to boost exports to America

Ambitious tech businesses are seizing the chance to export to America with a trade mission to Atlanta from 18 – 21 March.

Organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and supported by North East England Chamber of Commerce, the 13 strong delegation includes a wide range of companies including Stockton-based National Safety Passports. This business specialises in developing software to simplify contractor health and safety compliance management.

Chief executive officer Marc Atkinson said: “We already have a substantial client base globally with companies from North America to Japan who use us for their UK projects. The time is now right for us to look at how our service can work in other countries and the Atlanta trip is the perfect way for us to put a toe in the water and explore this potential.”

Joining him on the mission are business transformation associates from Cramlington which improves the operational performance of manufacturing organisations through the application of Lean tools and techniques.

Kim English from the company said: “We already have a client in Atlanta but are keen to explore other potential markets when we are over there.  The support to travel to the US and the meeting preparation, in terms of new business leads, is extremely beneficial.  It looks set to be an exciting trip for our company.”

Other Chamber members in the delegation include Senserve, Grid Smarter Cities, Waterstons and WordNerds.

David Coppock, head of region (North East) at DIT, said: “With the North East the UK’s fastest growing tech hub outside London, and Atlanta the tenth largest economy in the US, it is easy to see why businesses are jumping at the opportunity to develop new partnerships.

“Trading overseas can help businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors become more profitable and resilient. There’s a wide range of support available from DIT international trade advisers based on the ground here in the North East, from developing business plans to making contacts in overseas markets. There’s no reason any business couldn’t be the next one on a trade mission to Atlanta.”

Chamber Partner members Sage plc and Womble Bond Dickinson both have US offices in Atlanta and are supporting the trade mission in a range of ways including briefing sessions on the city’s economy.

Robert Phillips, partner at Womble Bond Dickinson, commented: “We are delighted to be working together with the DIT, the Chamber and our colleagues in our Atlanta office to support the mission’s objectives of facilitating collaboration and delivering investment and innovations that will have a greater impact on our local economy. The opportunities presented by the US for businesses from the Newcastle and across the North of England are vast.”

On the trip the businesses will be given guidance on Atlanta and US politics as well as briefings on the state as a marketplace and emerging markets. There will also be the opportunity to meet the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the British American Business Council and the Atlanta based teams of Womble Bond Dickinson and Sage plc.