SUPPORT for exporters is being expanded after figures showed Dorset’s businesses sent more than £132m worth of goods overseas in 2013-14.

Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued 25 per cent more export documents than in the previous year.

It is re-launching its export documentation department as an international trade services department.

The unit processed 12,022 documents in 2013-14 compared with 9,604 the previous year.

The chamber is one of two issuing bodies authorised to certify documentation in the south west.

Its renamed department has a new focus on raining, advice, networking and overseas links.

Rob Booth, the chamber’s international trade services manager, said: “Companies in Dorset are playing a key role in driving growth in the county and helping to reduce the UK's trade deficit.”

He added: “Our new international trade services department better reflects the broader support and expertise we now provide to help Dorset firms of all types and sizes succeed on a global scale.”

The chamber is currently certifying documents for around 80 companies a month.

There are around 50 more exporters who fall under separate controls for military or military/civilian products.

The chamber is also backing the South West Overseas Business Network – one of the groups launched by the government to help SMEs reach high-growth but hard to reach markets.

Among the firms drawing on the chamber’s services is Vocalzone Throat Pastilles, whose products help ease the vocal chords of Sir Tom Jones and Katherine Jenkins.

The Broadstone-based company has seen exports rise from 30,000 packets in 2012 to 300,000 today.

Sales and marketing director George Ponsford said: “We use DCCI's export documents service but also bounce ideas around and attend its export networking club.

“DCCI is very good. It is efficient and always willing to help if something needs doing quickly.”

He added: “We have seen pretty spectacular growth over the past two years as exports have increased leaps and bounds.”

n The chamber’s Dorset Internation-al Business Network export club meets on September 9 at the Carlton Menzies hotel in Bournemouth, with representatives of the British-Polish Chamber of Commerce present.