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Gloucestershire Business News

International growth for Gloucester firm thanks to government support

US sales have tripled for golf accessory manufacturer Stewart Golf during the coronavirus pandemic, aided by the government's Department for International Trade (DIT).

Named as an 'Export Champion', the Quedgeley-based received support from the government department including introductions to key contacts in the US.

Export Champions are successful exporters who volunteer their time to encourage and inspire other businesses to grow through international trade and provide peer-to-peer support.

As golf courses remained open during the pandemic in the states, Stewart Golf saw an increased export demand for golf accessories and equipment.

Mark Stewart, CEO of Stewart Golf said: "Golf as a sport has been one of the beneficiaries through COVID as its naturally social distanced and takes place outdoors, so equipment sales have really gone through the roof. We sold all our stock in about six weeks from March 2020."

There were also key decisions that were made before the pandemic which contributed to its success; DIT supported the company to set up in the US, introducing them to a third-party logistics company there.

"We wouldn't have been able to launch into the US without the contact provided by the DIT," added Mr Stewart.

"Being part of the Export Champion community has also been really valuable because we have support from other exporters and can learn from other businesses. By being involved with DIT, there's always someone they can introduce you to who can help you achieve your goals."

The DIT added that it remained committed to supporting the company to further grow its exports in the market through accessing funding to visit the US and focus on its marketing strategy there.

Stewart Golf's success comes as data reveals exports to the US have increased by approximately 9.6 per cent since 2016. The US was also the UK's largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2021 accounting for 16.7 per cent of total UK trade, demonstrating a very strong trade connection between the two countries.

Read more: Punchline Talks! The B!G interview with Mark Stewart, CEO of Stewart Golf 

Paul Shand, head of Trade for DIT in the South West said: "Stewart Golf's success highlights the strong demand for high-quality UK goods and services overseas, and it's great to see them thriving during a challenging time for business.

"Trade will play an important role in getting our economy back on track and these companies are a great example of how companies can look to lucrative overseas markets to boost their sales whilst creating more jobs."

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