Dialogue opens door to US trade for small business

Doing business in the US may soon become easier for small businesses after a bilateral discussion between the UK and US business organisations.

On 29 November, 50 UK and US small and medium-sized businesses and business organisations attended the sixth UK-US SME Dialogue in Edinburgh.

The dialogue brings together small and medium-sized businesses on both sides of the Atlantic with UK and US government officials to identify ways to strengthen cooperation and support companies from both countries to find new export opportunities in each other’s markets.

It reflects the ongoing commitment from both countries to supporting and enhancing UK-US SME trade.

During the dialogue, a series of panel discussions covered opportunities for SMEs looking to grow through UK-US trade and explored the particular challenges faced by SMEs exporting to either country.

Attendees discussed the importance of using digital tools to reduce paperwork and streamline trading practices for SMEs, reducing costs and complexities for smaller firms expanding into new markets.

Participants also discussed information and support available online for firms exporting for the first time — to make the trading journey simpler — as well as the specific challenges faced by women-owned SMEs.

Drawing on these stakeholder discussions, UK and US officials held bilateral government discussions after the SME dialogue on 30 November.

They agreed to a series of actions over the coming months to ensure that feedback from stakeholders translates into practical outcomes for SMEs. Over the next six months, the two governments agreed to:

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