Business mission to enhance US links

South Yorkshire's business community is set to forge stronger trade links with the US.

South Yorkshire International Trade Centre (SYITC), along with Creative Sheffield and UK Trade and Investment, plans to organise a trade mission to Philadelphia and Richmond in Virginia.

Stuart Steel, the head of international trade at SYITC, said: "A trade mission group recently returned from a successful trip to Chengdu, in China, where delegates enthused about the support that travelling as part of a business delegation provided.

"Travelling as part of a group gives companies unique access to the support available through local business agencies which organise activities such as briefings, networking and business match-making."

Philadelphia is the fifth largest city in the US and the city region is home to nearly six million people.

It has strong manufacturing, oil refining, food processing, health care and biotechnology sectors.

Joanna Lavan, international manager at Creative Sheffield, added: "In times of economic uncertainty, businesses need to look for opportunities across the world in order to grow and fill their order books."

The trade mission will take place from January 29 to February 4 2011.

Tickets for the visit cost 1,295 which covers the flights, hotel accommodation, transfers and benefits such as briefings, networking receptions and business matchmaking.

Eligible companies will be able to receive 665 of grant funding towards the cost of the trip.

The cost to the public purse will depend on how many firms access the grant funding.

For more information about the mission contact Stuart Steel at South Yorkshire International Trade Centre on 0114 201 8924 or ssteel@syitc.com