The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently to increase awareness in the Pennsylvania business community, particularly among small and medium-sized businesses, about exporting and the tools and resources the organizations provide to help them succeed.
“We’re pleased to welcome Pennsylvania SBDCs as a partner in our efforts to strengthen the Pennsylvania economy and support local jobs through expanding U.S. exports,” said under secretary of commerce for international trade Francisco Sánchez. “With more than 95 percent of potential customers living outside U.S. borders, it’s imperative that American companies of all sizes consider the benefits of selling their products abroad.”
“Small businesses across Pennsylvania will be able to benefit from the international business expertise afforded by this new partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service,” said Pennsylvania SBDC state director Christian Conroy. “The 18 SBDCs in Pennsylvania are available to assist business owners and entrepreneurs take advantage of exporting opportunities available to grow or sustain their business.”
Under the MOU, the Pennsylvania SBDCs and U.S. Commercial Service’s network of worldwide offices will work together on marketing, educational programs and events leveraging both entities’ expertise to help make U.S. businesses—and particularly small and medium-sized, Pennsylvania based firms—more export savvy. Joint activities may include building awareness through outreach at trade shows, export seminars, trade education events, direct mail campaigns and online registration for resource support.
In 2010, President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) with the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014. The partnership supports this goal by educating small- and medium-sized companies about the benefits of exporting and expanding their exports to additional markets, and the public and private sector resources available to assist them. The Pennsylvania SBDC joins several of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Strategic Partners who have connected more than 1,500 companies to federal export assistance.