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Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

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On an average day, Trina Worrell Benjamin handles invoices, returns calls and emails, directs a team of nearly a dozen employees and manages a client roster that has included big names like Rite Aid and Toys“R”Us. She admits her first steps into entrepreneurship were not easy. But with the help of…

Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

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Pennsylvania SBDC and U.S. Commercial Service Renew Strategic Partnership MOU for Fifth Year

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The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to continue to increase awareness in the Pennsylvania business community about exporting and the tools and resources the organizations provide to help them succeed.

“The Pennsylvania SBDC has been a great partner in our efforts to strengthen the Pennsylvania economy and support local jobs through expanding U.S. exports,” said U.S Commercial Service Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Joseph Hanley. “Renewing this MOU provides for continued collaboration to ensure Pennsylvania’s small companies have every opportunity to grow stronger here at home by taking advantage of existing and emerging business opportunities around the world.”

“This past calendar year, the Pennsylvania SBDC was able to help companies grow their international sales by more than $100 million dollars,” said Pennsylvania SBDC State Director Christian Conroy. “Our partnership with the Commercial Service is an important resource for our statewide team of certified international trade consultants to assist business owners and entrepreneurs in taking advantage of exporting opportunities available to grow or sustain their business.”

Since signing the original MOU agreement in 2012, the Pennsylvania SBDCs and U.S. Commercial Service’s network of worldwide offices have worked 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 have included building awareness through outreach at trade shows, export seminars, and trade education events.

Upcoming international business education events and trade shows hosted by the Pennsylvania SBDC and U.S. Commercial Service include:

Companies interested in exploring these opportunities should contact one of the 18 SBDCs in Pennsylvania by visiting www.pasbdc.or/centers.

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 between the Commercial Service and the Pennsylvania SBDC supports this goal by educating small- and medium-sized companies about the benefits of exporting and expanding their exports into new markets, and on the public and private sector resources available to assist them. The Pennsylvania SBDC is among several of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Strategic Partners who have connected more than 1,500 companies to federal export assistance.