Here are some of the resources available to small business owners who want to learn about exporting:
EXPORT.GOV: The government website has information on a wide range of exporting topics and offers online training programs. It also has listings for trade shows and export opportunities. Links will take you to government agencies including the Department of Commerce and Small Business Administration. Visit www.export.gov
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: The SBA also has information on its website, including a section on its export lending programs. It shares some of the sites on Export.gov. Visit http://tinyurl.com/pc2fhst
SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS: The SBA sponsors these centers at 900 sites throughout the U.S. They provide free advice and low- or no-cost education on a wide range of small business concerns including exporting. You can find out more about SBDCs at http://tinyurl.com/42tzwt5
SCORE: The organization that offers free advice to small businesses on a wide range of topics including export. You can find a SCORE counselor at www.score.org
EXPORT-IMPORT BANK: The Ex-Im Bank helps small businesses get financing for export loans. Visit its website at www.exim.gov It also has regional offices in Atlanta and Minneapolis. An office is scheduled to open in Seattle in August and in Detroit in late fall.
EXPORT ASSISTANCE CENTERS: These are offices in major cities that are staffed by employees of the SBA, the Commerce Department, the Export-Import Bank and public and private groups. You can locate one by visiting www.sba.gov/content/us-export-assistance-centers
EMBASSIES: If you’re interested in exporting to a particular country, the U.S. embassy in that country can be a resource. Search online for “doing business in” and the country’s name. As an example, the website for doing business in Ireland is http://tinyurl.com/qx2762l
TRADE MISSIONS: These are trips organized through the Department of Commerce to help U.S. companies find buyers in overseas markets. You can learn about them at a section of Export.gov. Visit http://tinyurl.com/otao84t
WORLD TRADE CENTER-NEW ORLEANS: The WTC serves as a catalyst for furthering Louisiana’s trade with other countries and bringing together international buyers and sellers to generate new business. Visit www.wtcno.org
CHAMBERS-AGENCIES: Larger local chambers of commerce and economic development agencies promote local businesses and occasionally provide educational programs and resources for companies interested in exporting. Visit the Baton Rouge Area Chamber at www.brac.org, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce at www.neworleanschamber.org, Greater New Orleans Inc. at gnoinc.org, the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce at www.lafchamber.org and Lafayette Economic Development Authority at www.lafayette.org.
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