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It is six months since Shrewsbury accountant Dyke Yaxley opened an office in Mentor, Ohio. Director Rob Whittall, who divides his time between Ohio and the UK, looks back at how things have gone for the firm Stateside

s you have read in the newspapers and seen on the television, the US economy is still struggling like the

rest of the world. However, you get a different perspective when you are in the business trenches in the US and you talk to people. A lot of businesses are having record profit

America is still in business A

is a huge market for the right product or service. But remember, the US is a different market place than the UK, and if you think it will take six months to be up and running, it will be at least 12 months, and if you think it will cost you £50,000 it will cost you £100,000.

years. I believe they would go out and invest in their businesses more, but they are still nervous because of what they hear on a daily basis in the media about the global debt crisis. The Dow Jones index seems to jump around

like a yoyo and thus no one has much confidence to make any long term major investments. However, on the positive, a lot of the clients

that I work with have rehired employees, have stronger order books, have reinstated various benefits for employee etc. So I still believe that the US is still a great place to do business, there

‘Please remember that it is important to send your best person to the new market’

Also, please remember that it is important

to send your best person to the new market as he/she will be your best advocate. Fortunately or unfortunately, 99 times out of 100, the best person is you - so you have to be prepared to be 150 per cent committed if you are going to the US to do business.

Rob Whittall: US still a great place to do business

Aston students make Indiana’s calling...UK firms

their mark as interns Student internships are playing a key role in enhancing graduate employability, with a year’s internship alongside a university degree seen as ‘fundamental’ in bridging the gap between higher education and the work place. At Aston University in Birmingham (UK)

around 70 per cent of undergraduates opt for an internship as part of a four-year course. The university believes international and UK based internships are vital in providing students with the high level of work based skills they need, while offering employers an opportunity to identify suitable students for future employment. There are currently 236 Aston students undertaking internships overseas, including the USA. In the UK, Aston University is rated amongst the top 20 UK universities most likely to be targeted by top graduate recruiters. Etta Parkes, head of placements at Aston

University, said: “In the USA alone, Aston has placed around 15 interns with companies such as Galaxy Deserts, Nationwide Services, Baroque Band Chicago and HSBC in New York in the last few years and this trend is on the rise.” Employers have also recognised the benefit of

undergraduate placements. Jessica Nelson, transatlantic business manager

for the British American Business Council (BABC) said: “This year BABC Midlands has welcomed its fifth placement student from Aston Business School. Every student that we have taken on has been a great asset to the team and been extremely professional, friendly and hard working. Some of them have now gone on to international careers.”


Business leaders from the ‘Crossroads of America’ have visited the Midlands in a trip designed to boost trade links. The delegation was from the US state of Indiana, led by Chad Pittman, executive vice- president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). The Indiana/BABC dinner presented a great opportunity to strengthen existing relationships in the region and to provide an in-depth overview of the opportunities and assistance present in the state of Indiana. Indiana is the fourth state in the US in terms of British investment and is home to such leading UK businesses as Rolls-Royce, GKN, BAE Systems, Bodycote and many others, employing more than 29,000 workers. According to the latest figures released by the

Bureau of Economic Analysis, UK businesses have invested more than $11 billion into Indiana’s economy. Due to a strong British investment presence and close synergies between the main industry sectors in the UK and Indiana, the state opened a London office three years ago to service existing clients and to assist other businesses interested in the US market. Ultimately, the industry sectors that help to define the state as a world-class centre of research and manufacturing are: life sciences, car manufacturing, aerospace and defence, and energy. The state is home to well-known companies such as Cummins, Allison Transmission, Eli Lilly and Co, DePuy, Zimmer and many others.

Indiana has recently lowered its corporation

tax from 8.5 to 6.5 per cent and has been recognised as the best state to do business in the Midwest by ‘Chief Executive Magazine’. Known as the ‘Crossroads of America’, Indiana hopes this visit and connections established in the region will serve as a great start to growing a two-way business relationship between Indiana and the UK.

For more information contact Edita Sawyers, IEDC UK director, via email at or call 020 7352 1672.

Chad Pittman

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