Small Business Development Centers Raise the Bar on ExportingSeptember 22, 2014
Gabriela Preda is an intern with the International Trade Administration’s Office for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy.
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.