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SBA Aims to Connect Small Businesses with Exporters

The Small Business Administration will hold an Export Matchmaker Trade Fair & Conference in September as part of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to assist small business manufacturers and suppliers export their products.

The matchmaking conference is designed to bring together small businesses looking for additional markets and export management companies (EMC), export trading companies (ETC), brokers and agents. Also known as trade intermediaries, EMCs and ETCs are export specialists that will buy a company’s products and sell them in foreign markets or represent a company’s products in foreign markets through a distribution or similar contract.

Working with an EMC or ETC is often the fastest way for small businesses to either begin exporting or to expand export sales because they do not need to commit additional staff to the effort. By using trade intermediaries, small businesses can make it easier and quicker to begin marketing and selling to the nearly 96 percent of the world’s population living outside the United States.

Nearly 280,000 small businesses account for 97 percent of all exporters in the United States, exporting almost $500 billion annually, according to the SBA.

“One of President Obama’s goals stated in the National Export Initiative is to double U.S. exports in five years,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “Tapping the export potential of more small businesses through events like this will get us closer to that goal.”

The SBA is encouraging trade intermediaries from across the country, as well as foreign- buying missions and other trade facilitators such as foreign consulates and binational chambers of commerce, shippers and other trade- or export-services organizations to participate in the event.

The conference will be held at the Westin Hotel in Jersey City, N.J., on Sept. 20, 2010. For more information and to register for the event, visit www.exportmatchmaker.org.

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