Did you know that the world’s population already surpasses 7 billion?
Did you know that more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States?
U.S. exports of goods and services accounted for 14 percent of the national GDP in 2008 and climbed to 14 percent in 2012. These numbers show the growing role exports are playing in our nation’s economic recovery.
The surprising fact about these numbers is that only less than one percent of the 30 million plus companies in the U.S. are engaged in exporting. Can you imagine the scenario if instead of one percent it were two percent?
Clearly, the potential of exports as a major economic engine cannot be overstated, that’s why, in his 2010 State of the Union address, President Obama announced the National Export Initiative as an effort and a challenge to promote American exports. Two years later, there is evidence that those efforts are paying off: In 2012, U.S. exports hit an all-time record of $2.2 trillion and supported 9.8 million jobs.
The core mission of the U.S. Small Business Administration is to help small businesses start, grow and create jobs; the foundation of an economy built to last. Helping small business exporters succeed in the global market is a critical part of that agenda, which SBA carries out through financial assistance, training, counseling and a wide array of export-support services in collaboration with other federal agencies and partners in the private sector.
One example of such collaboration is the annual export video contest that SBA and Visa, Inc., have been co-sponsoring since 2011. It is designed to encourage small business exporters to share, via a short video, their success stories and small practices as an inspiration for other small businesses to explore exporting as a viable, profitable option.
Five video entries are selected as winners based on the following criteria:
- Inspirational nature of the message for potential exporters and effectiveness in promoting exporting
- Creativity and uniqueness of video concept
- Value of lessons learned/communicated
- Use of U.S. Government program/service
- Innovative means of delivering the message
- Audio and visual quality of the video
The awards include monetary incentives that range from $2,000 for fifth place to $10,000 for first place. This year’s winners were:
- First place: Bassets Ice Cream of Philadelphia, with an entry titled “Scooping Up International Sales”
- Second place: REKLUSE of Boise, ID, with “Exporting Success"
- Third place: Premier Choice Inc, DBA Perfect Bite of San Jose, Calif., with “‘Fruits' of Our Labor”
- Fourth place: MMIC of Johnsbury, Vermont, with “MMIC What We Do”
- Fifth place: CID Bio-Science of Camas, Wash., with “The World and Beyond”
The awards were presented on May 16 by SBA Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade Dario Gomez at the World Trade Day conference in Denver, where SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns was a keynote speaker. Also recognized was the winner of SBA 2013 Exporter of the Year award, Zeigler Bros., Inc. (ZBI), like Bassett Ice Cream, another firm from Pennsylvania. ZBI is engaged in the research, development and production of nutritional solutions for the aquaculture, pet/zoo and lab/biomedical industries.
As Johns said, these firms are prime examples that “exporting is a profitable, rewarding path to success.”
As a business owner, you may feel that you’re doing pretty well so far but, let’s face it, if you can substantially increase your bottom line and in the process help the nation’s economy, wouldn’t you say that’s an enticing proposition?
Remember the numbers: 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S … and that’s a huge market! Getting a piece of that pie doesn’t have to be a dream deferred; it’s as close as a click or phone call away through the SBA. To “borrow” a popular slogan: “Just Do It!”