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SMBs Can Expand And Reach Customers Abroad

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 10/3/2011

SMBs can still expand to foreign markets, despite the current economic climate, due to available funding from financial institutions and federal agencies.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the total U.S. exports by companies of all sizes increased 15.1 percent to $178 billion in July 2011 compared to last year, while the International Trade Administration said small and medium-sized business account for about 33 percent of all U.S. exports. New technology and funding options are making it easier for small enterprises to reach customers in other countries.

SMBs Expand Abroad

There are many financial institutions and organizations aiding the growth and development of small businesses in the international marketplace including the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration. The Washington Post reported that the Export-Import Bank has approved more than 2,828 small business transactions through August, and expects 2011 to have a 10 percent increase over 2010. Within the next four years, the agency hopes to provide loans to 5,000 new small firms, hitting $9 billion in annual SMB export financing.

Similarly, the SBA recently announced $30 million in grants will be allocated to increase exporting under the State Trade and Export Promotions Act of 2010. The program aims to support small and medium-sized business participation in foreign trade, international marketing and other export campaigns, the news source reported.

The Department of Community and Economic Development for the state of Pennsylvania recently received a $1.7 million State Trade and Export Promotion grant from the SBA to provide financial aid to local small businesses aiming to expand abroad.

"Providing small businesses with the tools they need to grow and create jobs in the state is a top priority of the governor and our agency," DCED Secretary C. Alan Walker said. "Export assistance is a great resource for small businesses interested in selling their goods and services to new markets."

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