Posts Tagged ‘SBDC’

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Small Business Development Centers Raise the Bar on Exporting

September 22, 2014

Gabriela Preda is an intern with the International Trade Administration’s Office for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy.

A man is drawing lines connecting countries on a map of the world.Two reports released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) — Jobs Supported by State Exports 2013 and U.S. Metropolitan Area Exports 2013 — highlight one of the hottest topics right now in our economy: U.S. exports.

Since the launch of the Administration’s National Export Initiative (NEI) in 2010, U.S. businesses are selling more goods and services abroad than ever before, reaching an all-time record in 2013 of $2.3 trillion in exports.

As we transition to the next phase of supporting U.S. exporters through NEI/Next,  ITA is expanding export-promotion efforts and trade advocacy. Our success depends on collaboration with public and private organizations at the national, state, and local levels that want to do the same.

One of the most important tools for supporting U.S. exporters is the nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers, and we were glad to see them in the spotlight at America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Annual Conference in Grapevine, Texas.

More than 1,400 participants representing the SBDC network gathered for training sessions, workshops, discussions, and exhibits.

Supported by a collaboration of Small Business Administration federal funds, state and local governments, and private sector resources, SBDCs provide an array of technical assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs. A hallmark of SBDC assistance is no-cost, extensive, one-on-one, long-term professional business advising.

In Grapevine, hundreds of SBDC export counselors took part in 15 international trade sessions ranging from export basics to protecting intellectual property in China. The annual conference is helping to build an army of enthusiastic SBDC export counselors across the United States, arming them with the knowledge and skills necessary to guide businesses forward.

And we at ITA are proud to have such a capable network of business experts as partners in supporting U.S. exporters! Together, SBDCs and ITA’s network of Export Assistance Centers will help support America’s business innovators bring quality U.S.-made products to more markets around the world.

If your business is ready to compete in the global marketplace, contact your nearest SBDC or Export Assistance Center now!

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Metro Exports Driving Economic Growth

September 18, 2012

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Michael Masserman and Ashley Zuelke work in the Office of  Export Policy, Promotion & Strategy.

Here’s a fact:  the 100 largest metro areas in our country make up just 12% of land area – but they make up 65% of our population and 75% of our nation’s GDP.  So when it comes to export growth, it should come as no surprise that metro areas are leading the way.

What may surprise you, is that thirteen smaller metropolitan areas across the U.S. — from Asheville, N.C., to Green Bay, Wisc., to Yakima, Wash. — for the first time joined the club of metropolitan markets that exported more than $1 billion in merchandise to the world.  These metro areas exported U.S. goods such as machinery, transportation equipment, and computer and electronic products which are in great demand all over the world.

The achievement of these thirteen metropolitan areas and recently released national data for 2011 metropolitan exports confirms the historic progress we are making toward reaching the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

The thirteen first-time members of the $1 billion metro export club represent just one story the recent data tells.

Metropolitan exports increased nearly 40 percent since 2009 to total $1.31 trillion in 2011.

This significant increase in U.S. exports since 2009 contributes to our ongoing recovery from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The Detroit, Mich., metropolitan area exported $49.4 billion in 2011, registering for the first time above $49 billion since the 2007 pre-Recession level.  Detroit was the fourth largest export market in the U.S. in 2011, with its top export sectors including transportation equipment and machinery. In fact, at the national level, exports of motor vehicles and parts increased $51 billion, or 63 percent, between 2009 and 2011 and are still leading the way with $86.3 billion in exports through the first seven months of 2012– reflecting a vibrant and resurgent car and truck industry.

Los Angeles was the third largest metropolitan export market in 2011, with $72.7 billion in exports.  LA has also been a pilot city for the Metropolitan Export Initiative, a program that the Department of Commerce International Trade Administration has partnered with the Brookings Institute on to localize export policy and promotion efforts, and build a framework for long-term export growth.

These stories, and the ones throughout the country, reflect how metro areas drive our exports. Yet each community and metro has its own character, opportunities and needs.

Communities and metropolitan areas can leverage exports as an economic development tool.  Each metro, even without a structured initiative, has the potential to organize local economic leaders, evaluate its own export assets and potential, and develop a plan to make the most of that potential.  Small businesses need to know that through exporting comes tremendous opportunity, and that there are federal resources in metro areas across our country, such as the local U.S. Export Assistance Centers and Small Business Development Centers, that stand ready to help them with this.

Our Administration will do everything it can to help U.S. businesses succeed in the global marketplace so that next year we can see even more metros cross that $1 billion threshold.

International Trade Administration resources also are there to help. Find your local U.S. Export Assistance Center here and visit Export.gov to get started.

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Spreading the Word about How to Succeed in Exporting

October 4, 2011

By John Ward, a writer in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

A conference last month in San Diego, California, brought together more than 1,300 business counselors from around the country. With help from several Department of Commerce bureaus, including the International Trade Administration, participants sharpened their export counseling skills.

RELATED: ITA Joins with Small Business Development Centers to Help U.S. Exporters

Thanks to detailed training sessions that featured export specialists from the International Trade Administration (ITA), other federal agencies, and public and private partners in the trade community, more than 1,300 business counselors from Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) recently updated their knowledge and skills in how to best help U.S. companies export.

The sessions were part of the annual convention for the Association of Small Business Development Centers, which was held in San Diego, California, on September 6–9, 2011. The SBDCs are a nationwide network of business counseling centers that are hosted by universities, colleges, and state economic development agencies. They are funded in part through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and many work closely with ITA’s U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs). There are approximately 1,000 SBDCs located throughout the country.

For More Information

To find the location of the nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center, visit the U.S. government export portal at www.export.gov or contact the Trade Information Center, tel.: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723). More information about Small Business Development Centers, including links to local offices, is available at www.sba.gov. Click on “Small Business Development Centers” under “Counseling and Training.”

Certification Process

These small business counselors were among those who had the opportunity to learn more about exporting through a series of workshops cohosted by the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee at the convention of the Association of Small Business Development Centers held in San Diego, California, September 6–9. (photo © Association of Small Business Development Centers)

These small business counselors were among those who had the opportunity to learn more about exporting through a series of workshops cohosted by the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee at the convention of the Association of Small Business Development Centers held in San Diego, California, September 6–9. (photo © Association of Small Business Development Centers)

By taking the training at the convention, SBDC staff members can qualify for certification as export counselors. The impetus for this training comes from the National Export Initiative (NEI) and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.

President Barack Obama announced the NEI in the State of the Union Address in January 2010. It calls for doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014. The Small Business Jobs Act requires that no less than five individuals or 10 percent of the staff from each of the 63 “lead” SBDCs be qualified as international trade counselors. (A “lead” SBDC is the institution that holds a contract with the SBA. It is responsible for administering and operating the SBDC program within a given jurisdiction, usually a state or territory.)

Introductory and Intermediate Topics

ITA was directly involved in more than 10 exporting sessions at the conference through the work of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), which is a federal interagency body that coordinates federal export promotion efforts.

The sessions included introductory and intermediate tracks and covered topics such as export marketing and sales, global logistics and supply chain, export regulations, and international trade payments. Presenters included representatives from the Census Bureau and the TPCC.

The sessions focused on the basics of exporting because SBDC business counselors will be focusing their efforts on the needs of first-time exporters. Companies that are already exporting will be referred to the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service staff at the local USEAC.

Fulfilling a Mandate for Export Growth

The training sessions come at a propitious moment as the goal date set by the NEI comes closer. This cooperative approach also underscores how small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit when government agencies, along with public–private partnerships, join their complementary skills to more effectively promote U.S. exports.

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ITA Joins with Small Business Development Centers to Help U.S. Exporters

October 4, 2011

By Philippa Olsen, a marketing and communications specialist with the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

Lyn Doverspike (center), director of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Export Assistance Center, speaking at an Export Achievement Award ceremony for Cardinal Resources LLC. Exports account for close to 80 percent of the environmental services company’s sales. Also attending the ceremony were Rep. Mike Doyle (right) and Kevin Jones, president of Cardinal Resources (left). (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

Lyn Doverspike (center), director of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Export Assistance Center, speaking at an Export Achievement Award ceremony for Cardinal Resources LLC. Exports account for close to 80 percent of the environmental services company’s sales. Also attending the ceremony were Rep. Mike Doyle (right) and Kevin Jones, president of Cardinal Resources (left). (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

In their business counseling efforts, the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) often work closely with the International Trade Administration’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) through the network of U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs). There are more than 100 USEACs located across the country that are staffed by trade specialists who can provide market intelligence, trade counseling, business matchmaking, and advocacy support. The USEACs can also call on the knowledge and expertise of the USFCS’s overseas staff members, who are located in more than 75 U.S. embassies and consulates.

Lyn Doverspike, director of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USEAC noted, “SBDCs are a perfect partner for us because they provide trade counseling for new exporters, as our complementary focus is on companies already exporting.” She added that “companies exporting for the first time have a longer timeline before they begin, and SBDCs offer foundational counseling for them before the U.S. Commercial Service steps in and offers them specific exporting assistance.”

This collaboration is especially beneficial in rural areas, commented Vickie Gyenes, a global trade manager who assists small businesses in the Appalachian region of western Pennsylvania through the St. Vincent College SBDC in Latrobe and the St. Francis University SBDC in Ebensburg. “Our clients are all small to medium-sized enterprises and may have experimented with exports in the past, but now see exporting as a vital part of their business,” she said. “SBDCs provide secondary market research; organize educational seminars—from basic training to more complicated topics, such as export controls; and work with the USEACs who have overseas presence and expertise. It’s a joint effort and a great relationship.”

In 2010, the St. Vincent College SBDC’s Center for Global Competitiveness received the President’s E Award for Export Service. This annual award recognizes U.S. companies and organizations that facilitate export trade and contribute to U.S. job growth and competitiveness. From late 2009 through 2010, the center’s efforts directly generated more than $8.9 million in increased export sales for Pennsylvania companies, accounting for more than 150 new or retained jobs

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