Covid-19 has been catastrophic.
In the first few weeks of lockdown, InterTradeIreland spoke to businesses that had watched their sales fall off a cliff. The organisation understands the pandemic has forced many firms to face difficult choices and decisions.
InterTradeIreland’s job now, is to help small firms get back on their feet, in this “new normal”. The organisation’s experience of helping SMEs grow cross-border trade to an all-time high of £6.4 billion, underlines it knows how to listen and respond to what companies require.
The cross-border body has launched a powerful mix of resources to assist SMEs move through from the reaction to recovery phase. These include a series of online webinars full of practical advice, a business platform to help companies collaborate and two fresh initiatives for cross-border traders.
Emergency Business Solutions will assist to steer SMEs though the current landscape while E-merge will help companies improve their digital offering, as now more than ever, an e-commerce presence is crucial.
One business that has found the innovative E-merge programme useful is The Armagh Cider Company, which has grown to include a range of soft drinks and mixers. “We had some traction with online sales for the mixers through Amazon but not so much for the Orchard Twist, which until lockdown was just listed in some cafes and restaurants in Northern Ireland. We needed to engage much more on social media and also to increase our brand awareness and so drive sales from our website” says company Director Mark Troughton
“We found InterTradeIreland’s E-Merge programme to be invaluable. It really helped to have a consultant who we were able to bounce ideas around with, decide on a plan and get things done quickly. The potential for future business is great and we have already started seeing more traffic to the website and more sales, both in Northern Ireland and Ireland” concludes Mark.
If you would like to find out more information on the opportunities in the cross-border market and what support is available to help your business react and recover, visit InterTradeIreland.com