Partner Events


Masterclasses, workshops and conferences to drive your business forward digitally.

All Masterclasses can be viewed here.


Friday, 30th October (10:00-12:00) - Digital Drive Durham Networking Morning.  A morning of hearing from our Business Advisers and also our guest speaker, Ian Brown, Managing Director of Excelpoint.  Ian will take you on a digital transformation journey, highlighting the importance of establishing the right culture for change, what software options are available and the overall benefits of digitalisation.  After that, grab yourself a cuppa and start networking with other like-minded businesses.  Book here.


Tuesday, 3rd November (10:00-12:00) - Social Media Essentials.  Presented by Janet Bebb.  Book here.

Monday, 9th November (10:00-12:00) - Google Analytics Beginners.  Presented by Digital Allies. Book here.

Tuesday, 10th November (10:00-12:00) - Digital Marketing Bootcamp Part 1.  Presented by Pascal Fintoni.  Book here.

Monday, 16th November (10:00-12:00) - Google Analytics Intermediate.  Presented By Digital Allies.  Book here.

Tuesday, 17th November (10:00-12:00) - Digital Marketing Bootcamp Part 2.  Presented by Pascal Fintoni.  Book here.

Tuesday, 24th November (10:00-12:00) - Etsy, Amazon and Ebay Selling Online.  Presented by Laura Mathieson.  Book here.


Thursday, 10th December (10:00-12:00) - Video Marketing.  Presented by Pascal Fintoni.  Book here.


Digital Drive Grant Funding

Funding is up to 40% contribution.

Minimum spend is £2,500 excl VAT.

We have no maximum project cap, however the maximum grant we could award would be £9,999.

Funding can be used for the following:

  • Digital consultancy: this can be any ‘one-off’ outside expertise relating to digital technology e.g. social media strategy, internet telephony, integration of systems, automation of back office systems, search engine optimisation etc.
  • Digital Equipment: Must be new to the business and help improve your own use of digital technology e.g. for remote working, increase efficiency, entering new markets/diversifying services etc.  We cannot fund basic office kit out, or buying more of the same item (e.g. for a new member of staff).
  • Website/software/apps: Building a website for those who don’t have one, adding new functionality, e-commerce (maintenance, basic design improvements, hosting and ongoing costs are ineligible). Software must be a one-off purchase to be eligible/owned outright by the business. We are unable to pay for ongoing subscriptions or yearly licences.
  • Broadband installation and equipment/improvements (excludes monthly subscriptions, building work/street works).

Anyone wishing to make an application needs to register their interest here.

If they are already registered, they can just email or contact Helen on 0191 716 0992 or email:


Access up to 35% grant funding for business improvement projects

  • Must be an SME (less than 250 employees, annual turnover less than €50m and annual balance sheet less than €43m)
  • Must have growth plans and potentially employ more staff.

The minimum grant is £1,000, so you must be planning to spend a minimum of £2,858 excluding VAT on eligible costs. 

The maximum grant offered is £2,000.

Projects can include: Purchase of tools or machinery, Purchase of computer equipment, Premises improvement or expansion, Consultancy for business growth planning, Consultancy for business strategy development, Consultancy for HR strategy and staff development, Consultancy for marketing planning & activities, Website design & development, Product or process development & business diversification, Financial planning, Consultancy for the development of new or improved systems and procedures.

The North Durham CLLD area covers:

Chester-le-Street, Pelton Fell, Whitehills and Pelton, Sacriston, South Stanley, Craghead around the outskirts of Annfield Plain and Harelaw.

The South Durham CLLD programme covers:

Bishop Auckland, Coundon, Leeholme, Shildon, Spennymoor, St Helen Auckland and West Auckland areas.

Website: TBC

Telephone: 0191 716 0992


During uncertain times it's important to come together to share experiences and support each other. We may be isolated but we aren't alone.

Join us for our virtual events, including networking, business surgeries and webinars, designed to help you find advice, support and guidance for your small business during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The events are free and open to all small businesses and the self-employed across the UK.  For a list of upcoming events, please click here.


DATE & TIME OF THIS WEBINAR - FREE FOR FSB MEMBERS & NON-MEMBERS: Tuesday, 3rd November - 11:00-12:00.

Your opportunity to network and effectively develop and grow your business.  Free to attend online networking for all small businesses and the self-employed.

We will meet virtually for about an hour and cover the following: 

  • FSB Download - A brief summary of what the FSB are doing to support you, hosted by Howard Little, FSB Membership Advisor 
  • Speedy Introductions - Your chance to introduce yourself, your business and what you are looking for, plus be ready for Howard's question of the week!!
  • We'll be joined by David Marples from FSB Tax Investigation Protection.  He'll be talking all about this key FSB membership benefit, explaining how it works to help you and your business.
  • Open Q&A - Your chance to bring up topical matters for discussion with all registrants.  An opportunity to connect with all registrants via LinkedIn or other forms of social media. 
  • Join us for this new virtual concept of networking from the comfort of your own home via Zoom.

Please note: Your Zoom joining link will be sent in your confirmation email so do not discard this.  The link can also be found in the 'My Events' section on the FSB website. If you have any queries, please contact Harry Harrison.

Non-members are very welcome to attend too, so do forward this email on to anyone in the small business community who would benefit from attending at this crucial time.

This is one of many FSB events run across the UK. And be sure to follow @FSBYHNE & @FSBNorthEast on Twitter plus @FSB.North.East on Facebook for regular information to support your business.

Please click here to register for this webinar.


Short, snappy, knowledge packed sessions to fill your business brain!

With time and knowledge being two of the biggest pressures facing small & medium-sized businesses, we’ve created a series of short and snappy sessions exclusively for County Durham businesses to help improve their know-how on a range of business basics.

Our current programme is now available online until it’s safe to return to our easily accessible locations across County Durham.  Our online sessions will continue to be held in a friendly and open atmosphere allowing you to pick up Bitesize Business tips and tricks to help your business and make the difference to your day.

Have a look at the range of bitesize sessions taking place and simply pick and mix to provide you with the support you need.

We're going to be completely flexible with delivery of these sessions - they'll be delivered online until it becomes safe to start doing physical workshop sessions again.  Simply click here to apply for your online place below.

TUESDAY, 3rd NOVEMBER - Your Sales Toolbox

TUESDAY, 10th NOVEMBER - Pitch Perfect

All online sessions are three hours, starting at 09:30 and finishing at around 13:00 (allowing time for a break).  Please note: you will need a laptop or smartphone to access our online platform for all of the sessions listed above.

But remember, there are only 8 places available on each of these fully funded sessions, exclusively available to County Durham businesses.

Click here and apply now.  Choose the sessions that suit your business.


All the webinars are free to UK companies.

You can expect to:

  • receive help and advice to sell overseas with confidence
  • gain new skills and knowledge
  • discover solutions to specific challenges to exporting
  • get your exporting questions answered by the experts

How long are the webinars?

Our experts usually present for 25 minutes and allow 35 minutes for answering your questions and helping you find solutions to any barriers you may face.

Look through the list to find the webinars you would like to attend.

Each link will connect you to a webinar registration form so you can receive your unique link to join the upcoming webinar.


If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) use this scheme if you're eligible to claim the grant.

The scheme is now open. Make your claim from the date we give you. If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.

Who can claim?

You can make a claim even if you did not make a claim for the first grant if your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020.

You must also meet all other eligibility criteria.

You should not claim the grant if you’re a limited company or operating a trade through a trust.

What you will need

You will need your:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – if you do not have this find out how to get your lost UTR
  • National Insurance number – if you do not have this find out how to get your lost National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you make your claim
  • UK bank details (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted) including:
    • bank account number
    • sort code
    • name on the account
    • your address linked to your bank account

How to claim

If you want to claim the second and final grant you must make your claim on or before 19 October 2020.

Claims for the first grant are now closed.

You must make the claim yourself. You must not ask a tax agent or adviser to claim on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert, which will delay your payment.

You’ll have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected due to coronavirus.

The online service is now available. Make your claim from the date we give you. If you have not received a date from HMRC and think you’re eligible, you can use the online service to check. If you’re eligible, we will give you a date you can make your claim from.

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

To start the application process and for further details, please click here.


Citylife Business Support is a new service for SMEs who have be adversely affected by COVID-19.  Funded though the £1.5 million Capacity Fund that was granted to Newcastle City Council by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, it is part of the city’s commitment to supporting businesses, voluntary and community organisations and unemployed residents who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.

A package of free support has been developed that will focus on enabling businesses to develop and implement new models of delivery to help them recover and plan for their future.

Find out more here.



Omnia Health Live Americas: 2nd - 6th November 2020

The Department for International Trade (DIT) invites businesses to join a choice of two Northern Powerhouse (NPH) virtual missions which will give you access to healthcare and life science professionals.  Express your interest now to join us on the next mission and be a part of Omnia Health Live Africa 2020.

Following the success of Omnia Health Live in June, we aim to help your business build virtual connections across the healthcare industry through follow-up events focusing on the Americas.  The virtual exhibitions brings together medical equipment buyers, dealers and distributors, manufacturers, clinicians, procurement professionals and suppliers, making it the ideal platform for your business to showcase Northern expertise.

Choose to join the event on the registration page, subject to approval and confirmation from our trade missions team:

Omnia Health Live Americas 2020: 2nd - 6th November 2020

This event will focus on Latin America, South America and the southern states of the United States of America (USA).  This trade mission is ideal for companies in the following sub-sectors:

  • medical devices
  • surgery and orthopaedics
  • maxfac and plastics
  • digital health
  • healthy ageing

Further information can be found here.


Northern Powerhouse Tech Sector Podcast: Aircards' Export Journey

Friday, 30th October: Meet our Creative, Digital & Tech Sector Specialist

We’re offering businesses from the Creative, Digital and Tech sectors the opportunity to meet with your local International Trade Adviser, Phil Blacklock.

Join Phil on the Friday 30th October for a free 45 minute one-to-one session to discover the opportunities available to grow your business overseas, and if you could be eligible to access funding to support your export strategy.

Whether you are new to trading overseas or looking to enter new markets, the one-to-one session allows you to receive advice specific to your business and discuss any challenges you may be experiencing with sales overseas.

Benefits of Exporting:

  • Improve financial performance
  • Achieve levels of growth not possible in UK
  • Increase commercial life-spans of products
  • Insulate against market/seasonal demands
  • Better cash-flow
  • Better margins/profit
  • Develop more PR opportunities
  • Attract better staff and have better retention
  • Stay in business longer

Once you have registered your interest and we have confirmed your eligibility you will receive a Teams Invite so you are able to access the meeting.

Please note, this is for businesses who aren't already working with DIT. If you are currently working with an International Trade Adviser please contact them separately to arrange a meeting.

Please click here to book a free 121 appointment.


DATE & TIME OF THIS FREE WEBINAR: Friday, 30th October - 10:00-11:00

An opportunity to hear from the Sports Economy team based in London and an update on what is happening in the Sports Sector globally.  This webinar is aimed at all companies within the Sports sector including architects, stadium designers, sports clubs and associations, legal, security, stadium equipment and ticketing systems.

Andrew Bacchus, Lead for the Sports Economy team at DIT will provide an overview to the work the team provide.

Judith Kyle from the North West International Trade Team will highlight the export support that is available to companies within the region.

Delegates will also hear from a UK Export Finance Specialist to discuss their role and what help is available through UKEF.

Please click here to register.


DATE & TIME OF THIS FREE WEBINAR: Friday, 30th October 2020 - 13:00

As small businesses increasingly take their offerings online - not least during the coronavirus lockdown - and consumer demand for card payment grows, there are plenty of reasons you might want to modernise your business’s payment processes.

This exclusive webinar, brought to you in partnership between payments specialists SumUp and First Voice, will explore the multiple benefits of modernising your payment capabilities.

The webinar will explore the current payments landscape - in particular, the merging of physical and online payments and how demand is continuously changing.

Expert presenters will discuss how optimising your payments processes is not about ‘cash or card’, but giving your customers the best multi-channel experience, so they can purchase from you online, in person and across channels seamlessly.

The webinar will also look at how modernising payments can help improve the security of payments in your business and, looking forward, how you might best equip yourself for the developments on the horizon - so any changes you make are fit for the future.

To register for this free event on Friday, 30th October 2020 at 13:00, click here.


Staying on top of your tax obligations is essential.  Whether you’re filing Self-Assessment returns or paying Corporation Tax, our free downloadable guide includes everything you need to know about small business taxes, record keeping and accounts, as well as key dates to remember.  Please click here.  To join FSB, please click here.

Dates for your diary

  • 31st October 2020 - Deadline for paper self-assessment returns for 2019/20 tax year.
  • 30th December 2020 - Deadline for online submission of self-assessment tax returns for 2019/20 tax year if you want HMRC to collect tax through your tax code where you owe less than £3,000.
  • 31st January 2021 - Online self-assessment tax returns for 2019/20 tax year must be submitted by this date.
  • 6th April 2021 - Changes to the off-payroll working rules (IR35)

FSB Tax Investigation Protection

Tax investigations can be long, costly and stressful - but our comprehensive tax investigation insurance gives you peace of mind.

From tax and VAT returns, to PAYE declarations and IR35 enquiries, our team of experts can help you get paperwork right the first time with downloadable guides, fact sheets and templates.

Worried about an HMRC investigation? We’ve got you covered. Our tax investigation insurance is here to help protect your business and take away the hassle - ensuring the best possible outcome.

Got a taxing question? Speak to a tax specialist over the phone for guidance and advice when you need it.

FSB Tax Investigation Protection is one of the many benefits designed to help you do what you do best - run your business.  Visit the Legal Hub here.


DATE & TIME OF THIS FREE WEBINAR: Monday, 2nd November 2020 - 14:00-15:00

Join the Department for International Trade North East, along with JH Market Strategy for an interactive webinar which will give you an invaluable introduction to the process of selecting your overseas target markets, planning and conducting export marketing research . . .

Market research is the first and one of the most vital steps for any organisation whether they are entering a new overseas market or developing existing markets.  You will consider different approaches and research techniques and we will outline how you can develop a research plan for your own business.

What we will cover:

  • An objective, easy-to-use model for choosing or prioritising the best target export markets
  • Understanding what market information is important to help you make vital business decisions
  • Practical approaches to conducting or commissioning research
  • Sources of desk research and how to use the internet effectively - we will help you to find freely available market research which can help you assess potential markets and opportunities and develop your strategy
  • The benefits of taking your research further, including talking to people in the market to gain a real understanding of how the market works
  • Understanding how to interpret research findings to maximise your export potential.

This webinar is appropriate for delegates from companies which are looking to update and enhance their exporting skills.  The workshop will be relevant to both product and service companies at any stage of their export journey.  There will be opportunities during the webinar to ask questions and to consider how objective market research can help your export business.

121 sessions are available with the webinar speaker following the webinar on a first come first served basis.  Companies will be vetted on eligibility prior to confirmation.

Please click here to register.


DATE & TIME OF THIS VIRTUAL ROADSHOW: Monday, 2nd - Thursday, 12 November 2020

Please check the links for free webinar registrations and for meetings with sector and country experts in the schedule below.

Full list of online webinars can be found here.


Monday, 2nd November 2020 - 9:30-11:00.  UK South Asia Virtual Roadshow launch event with Her Majesty's Government and Government of India representatives, panel discussions with business and thought leaders.  Register here for this session.

Tuesday, 3rd November 2020 - 9:30-11:00.  The Indian Tech Safari - Successfully navigating the Indian Tech & Innovation Landscape.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Wednesday, 4th November 2020 - 9:30-11:00.  Sri Lanka: The gateway to Asia.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Wednesday, 4th November 2020 - 11:30-1300.  UK Defence and Security Exports.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Thursday, 5th November 2020 - 9:30-11:00.  Indian Advanced Engineering Industry: Market Overview, Business Opportunities and Success Stories.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Thursday, 5th November 2020 - 9:30-11:00.  Doing Business in Nepal: Opportunities and Challenges.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Thursday, 5th November 2020 - 11:30-13:00.   Fintech Opportunities in India.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Friday, 6th November 2020 - 9:30-11:00.  Life Sciences & Healthcare Industry in India: Opportunities for UK Companies in Life sciences, Health/Med-tech, Digital Health and AI.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Friday, 6th November 2020 - 11:30-13:00.  Charting the Indian Food and Drink Market - A Post COVID scenario.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.


Monday, 9th November 2020 - 9:30-11:00.  An overview of the market opportunities in the Electrical Networks and Energy Storage sector in India.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Monday, 9th November 2020 - 11:30-13:00.  UK-India - Collaboration Opportunities in the Education Sector.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Tuesday, 10th November 2020 - 9:30-11:00.  Opportunities in the Indian Sports Economy.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Tuesday, 10th November 2020 - 11:30-13:00.  Hop on to India's digital entertainment boom.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Wednesday, 11th November 2020 - 9:30-11:00.  Why India, Why Now? - Role of Technology for Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Cities.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Wednesday, 11th November 2020 - 11:30-13:00.  Bangladesh for Business.  View webinar details here.  Register for B2B meetings here.

Thursday, 12th November 2020 - 11:30-1300.  Trading in India: Everything about protecting your IP.  View webinar details here and how too book.


DATE & TIME OF THIS FREE WEBINAR: Wednesday, 4th November - 11:00-12:00

Is your UK business looking for new opportunities in the UAE?  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the UK's largest export market in the Middle East, with US$9.98 billion in UK exports during 2019.   With substantial plans for UAE infrastructure development and demand for UK expertise, this market present rich exporting opportunities for British businesses.

Why should you join this virtual webinar?

If you are looking to reposition your business in the changing COVID-19 landscape, this free webinar is designed to help you overcome market barriers and export with success.

This interactive webinar will provide an overview of the latest UAE construction and infrastructure opportunities.  Discover emerging trends, upcoming projects, the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, legal considerations and more from our market experts.

What will you learn?

  • How to approach the UAE market
  • Market intelligence and updates on current and future business opportunities
  • An overview of the specific UKEF projects
  • What you can get out of exporting and how to overcome obstacles
  • How to access support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) and British Centres for Business (BCB)
  • Ask our expert speakers questions live during the virtual event

Click here to register your interest.


You must act now.  Join our webinar to understand the new trading rules which will come into effect from 01 January 2021. 

DATE & TIME OF THIS FREE WEBINAR: Wednesday, 4th November - 11:00-12:00 (New date added as previous webinar was fully booked.)

The UK has left the EU and will leave the EU single market and customs union on 31 December 2020.

In this free webinar, you'll hear from:

  • Martin Cook, Deputy Director, UK Regions, Department for International Trade (DIT)
  • Graham Zebedee, Director, Continuity Negotiations and Development, Department for International Trade (DIT)

The session will focus on changes and actions businesses need to take to continue trading with EU and non-EU countries from 01 January 2021, such as the UK’s tariff on imports and Free Trade Agreements.  It will also include the opportunity to ask questions.

This webinar, delivered by the Department for International Trade, will focus on changes that businesses need to be aware of when trading with EU and non-EU countries, and will include a moderated Q&A.

Join this webinar for an update on:

  • The UK’s Global Tariff for imports
  • Free Trade Agreements - Continuity Agreements
  • Generalised Scheme of Preferences
  • Procurement Agreement
  • Exports of Dual use items from GB to EU and Dual use licences
  • Trade Remedies
  • Market Access Barriers
  • Sources of Transition guidance and support
  • DIT services and support

You can also find guidance and support on GOV.UK/transition.


You might not be aware of “UK Export Finance” (UKEF) which can help you with funding for exporting and overseas projects (see here) and also the information below which includes a number of links.  If any of this is of interest to you please let Paul Sparks know and he will put you in contact with the North East representative for a free chat.

The “trade finance” support is exclusively for businesses with a turnover of £6m or more.  Whereas “export insurance” can be companies of any size, (it’s the buyers finances & trading history that is crucial).

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside Department for International Trade.

Having finance and insurance backing from HM Government through UKEF gives you the edge you need to win and fulfil contracts and withstand risk of non-payment in international markets. UKEF supports exporters to:

  • access export finance
  • manage payment risks
  • win export contracts by offering competitive terms to buyers. UKEF works with banks and other financial institutions to support exports for any size of company and across all sectors, from capital goods to services and intangibles such as intellectual property.

Access export finance

If the terms of a contract require a bond, such as performance guarantees or advance payment guarantees, UKEF’s Bond Support Scheme can guarantee a UK exporter’s bank up to 80% of the bond’s value, significantly reducing the size of the deposit needed.

UKEF’s Export Working Capital Scheme can partially guarantee to cover the credit risks for lenders associated with export working capital facilities.  This means UK companies can export if they win a contract higher in value than usual, or win more overseas contracts than usual.

UK suppliers to exporters can now also access UKEF financing, further spreading the benefits of trade.  Becoming part of an export supply chain can help smaller companies get their products and services into new markets.

Managing payment risks

UKEF helps exporters manage the uncertainties of trading overseas.  Export insurance is readily available in most cases from the commercial sector but securing the right cover can be a challenge in some markets.

UKEF’s Export Insurance Policy extends to cover exporters who are unable to uphold the contract for reasons beyond their control, such as country risk or issues within a supply chain.

Offering competitive terms to buyers

UKEF helps exporters win contracts by providing attractive financing for overseas buyers, either in the form of guarantees on commercial loans or by lending to them directly.  This competitive, long-term financing is particularly relevant to buyers in new and emerging markets, but is also used for larger and longer-term projects that the private sector does not have the capacity to support.  UKEF can offer support in over 60 pre-approved local currencies, enabling more overseas buyers to buy from the UK and pay in their own currency.


With just over 2 months left until the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union we just wanted to send out a reminder to help you prepare.  Whilst many aspects of Brexit are still unknown there are some things that will happen whatever the final outcome of the negotiations.  We’ve attached some guides to help you with this, every business will be affected in some way, even if it is just the way you store and process customer details etc.

The central point of information for all official government announcements and guides is

DIT have a Transition webinar on 4th Nov at 11 a.m., for details and to register see here.

As well as DIT there are other government departments providing information to help with the transition.  The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have produced a range of webinars, access these live and on demand, scroll down the page after opening the page.

North East England Chamber of Commerce (NEECC) – Brexit Support Week starting 16th Nov, see this and other events here.

The North East Growth Hub has some great resources here.

DIT are getting a range of questions on how the end of the transition period will affect them, if you have any specific concerns about the end of the transition period please send email us and we will try to get you an answer or point you in the right direction.


DATE & TIME OF THIS FREE ONLINE EVENT: Friday, 30th October 2020

We’re offering businesses from the Ecommerce sector an opportunity to meet with your local International Trade Adviser, Sue Beverley.  Join Sue on Friday 30th October for a free 45 minute one-to-one session to discover the opportunities available to grow your business overseas, and if you could be eligible to access funding to support your export strategy.  Whether you are new to trading overseas or looking to enter new markets, the one-to-one session allows you to receive advice specific to your business and discuss any challenges you may be experiencing with sales overseas.

Benefits of Exporting:

  • Improve financial performance
  • Achieve levels of growth not possible in UK
  • Increase commercial life-spans of products
  • Insulate against market/seasonal demands
  • Better cash-flow
  • Better margins/profit
  • Develop more PR opportunities
  • Attract better staff and have better retention
  • Stay in business longer

Once you have registered your interest and we have confirmed your eligibility you will receive a Teams Invite so you are able to access the meeting. 


VIRTUAL MISSION - PART 1: 2nd - 12th November 2020
MISSION TO GULFOOD EXHIBITION - PART 2: 21st - 25th February 2021

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is inviting food and drink companies from across the Northern Powerhouse region to participate in this trade mission to Gulfood 2021 in Dubai, the world’s largest food event.

Gulfood is the premier trade event in the global food and hospitality business calendar and could be your gateway to win new business in established, evolving and emerging markets.  The tradeshow is an unmissable event with over 5,000 exhibitors from five continents. 

The trade mission is ideal for businesses wanting to grow their sales and operate in categories such as private label, premium grocery, innovative functional foods and products focused on health and wellbeing. Working with the Great British Food Platform, this innovative two-part mission programme includes:

Part 1: Meet the Buyer Virtual Mission from UK

  • Virtual Mission Briefing
  • Market update on food and drink opportunities in the UAE
  • Mind of the Buyer Webinar
  • Inclusion of products into sample hampers for interested buyers
  • Meet the Buyer - Call Week

Part 2: Seal the Deal Mission to UAE*

  • Market update in the UK
  • Mission reception in Dubai
  • Meet the buyer event in Dubai
  • Support to participate in Gulfood 2021
  • Retail store visits*

* Due to current uncertainties arising from the impact of COVID-19 on international travel and exhibitions, part 2 of the mission programme may be subject to changes.

Join this trade mission to benefit from the great programme of activities and build your brand’s reputation.  For more information, please click here.


The North East England Chamber of Commerce and Business Durham would like to invite you to a Virtual Trade Mission with businesses from Durban, South Africa.  This mission will provide you with the opportunity to find new suppliers and business contacts from the South African region of KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday, 5th November, starting at 9am

Following key speeches from regional leads and support, the mission will invite over 20 South African businesses to showcase their business or product, with an opportunity at the end to connect and network.

Further information can be found in the PDF file on the right.

To register for this Zoom Virtual Trade Mission, please register herePlease note: registration must be made by 15:00 on Wednesday, 4th November.


DATE & TIME FOR THIS FREE WEBINAR: Tuesday, 10th November - 11:00-12:00

Businesses from across the Northern Powerhouse are invited to join the Department for International Trade and ProExtra for a free webinar, designed to provide practical advice to help improve your strategy at international exhibitions.

International exhibitions are back on the marketing agenda and running successfully in many global destinations.  Such face-to-face events remain a crucial element to future growth for ambitious businesses with 83% of visitors recently stating that networking was more effective in person.

But what has changed and how might your business need to adapt to maximise your trade show investment?  You’ll leave this webinar with a better understanding of how to select, prepare, deliver and evaluate global exhibitions, using new trends & behaviours to hold better quality and more targeted conversations.

Join us for this fast-paced webinar where we’ll focus on what’s new and what you need to do to ensure your business makes the most of its time on the show-floor to generate the strongest results.

Please click here for further information and to book.


DATE & TIME OF THIS FREE CONFERENCE: Thursday, 19th - Friday, 20 November 2020

The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) is delighted to launch its own virtual chemical trade show this year, in support of UK chemical Companies.  We are pleased to offer virtual booths to UK companies to showcase their products and services and also to hold virtual meetings with other UK chemical companies, representatives from DIT offices in British Embassies, Consulates and High Commission across the globe; as well as potential overseas buyers.  There is also an opportunity to attend the conference as an attendee and connect with the UK exhibitors directly.

Please register here.


The UK has left the EU and will leave the EU Single Market and Customs Union at the end of the year.  With only 100 days (as of the 22nd September) until the end of the transition period, businesses should take action now to start preparing for new trading rules which will come into effect from January 2021.

There are concrete steps you can take to minimise disruption and take advantage of new opportunities.

To help you get going, here are things you can do:

  1. Head to GOV.UK/transition to take a short survey and receive a personalised list of actions for you and your business to take.
  2. If you’re an exporter, find out what you need to do to continue to export goods to the EU.
  3. If you’re an importer, find out what you need to do to continue importing goods from the EU.
  4. Sign up to email alerts to stay up to date with any further changes.

These are concrete steps you can take now to minimise disruption and take advantage of new opportunities.

If you have any questions about preparing for the end of the transition period and you can’t find answers at GOV.UK/transition, fill out the enquiry form and one of our experts will point you in the right direction.

You can also find information and advice about trading internationally (outside of the EU) at


The UK has left the EU.  The transition period will end on the 31st December this year and the UK will leave the single market and customs union.  Businesses should take action now to start preparing for new trading rules which will be in effect from January 2021.

Here’s what you need to know if your business imports goods from overseas.

What is the UK Global Tariff (UKGT)?

The UKGT is the UK’s independent ‘Most Favoured Nation’ tariff.  This is a schedule of taxes to be paid on goods imported into the UK from January 2021.  The UKGT will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff.

The UKGT will not apply to goods imported from a country that the UK has a trade deal witha country that is part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences or where an exception applies.

What should I do next?

  1. Learn more about the UK Global Tarif

  2. Plan ahead by looking up the tariffs you will need to pay using the tariff look up tool.

  3. If you import goods from the EU, learn more about the import process and border controls with the EU from January 2021.

  4. Visit GOV.UK/transition for more information about what you need to do to prepare for the changes coming into effect from January 2021.

You can also find information and advice about trading internationally (outside the EU) here.


For many businesses, the festive season will be a crucial opportunity to build back sales amid uncertainty.  We’re here to support your business to prepare safely, from hiring temporary staff and taking payment online to managing your working capital when buying stock.

How to hire temporary employees and seasonal staff - Find out what you need to know when hiring a temporary employee in your small business, including fixed-term contracts, employee rights and notice periods.  Read the FSB's guide here.

How to effectively manage working capital - Discover how you can keep track of your small business’ cash flow with our tips for effectively managing your finances.  Find our more from the FSB here.

How to protect your business against cyber-attacks - Cyber-attacks pose a significant risk for even the smallest of businesses. Learn how you can protect your business with effective cyber security.  Read more from the FSB here.

What are the benefits of online payments? - As more people get used to browsing from the comfort of their home, learn the benefits of taking online payments securely and efficiently.  Read more here.


Government departments are hosting a series of webinars to help businesses understand the support available: