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U.S. Small Manufacturers get SBA Help to Go Global

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U.S. Small Manufacturers get SBA Help to Go Global

By Dario Gomez, Former SBA Official
Published: October 22, 2012 Updated: October 22, 2012


Did you know 95 percent of the world’s population lives outside the US? Are you a small business manufacturer? Have you considered exporting your goods?  The “Made in the USA” brand is strong and there’s a huge market out there for your products.

All that is great, but how can you break into the global market, grow and be successful? The Small Business Administration can help you.

SBA’s mission is to help business start, grow and succeed – this includes helping small business exporters and companies that want to export.


SBA has several loan programs to finance exports and export-related business activities.

This past year, SBA supported $923 million in loans to small business exporters, which supported $1.7 billion in export sales.

A major factor in this strong loan performance was an increase in the use of the International Trade Loan (ITL), which allows small manufacturers and businesses to expand their facilities or purchase equipment to manufacture goods that will be sold in the international market.  The ITL grew by 106 percent in number of loans and 207 percent in dollar value from FY2011 to FY 2012.

SBA has several programs to provide small business exporters with the capital they need.

Indirectly Exporting

In fact, you don’t even have to be an exporter to benefit from the ITL.  Are you a small business that’s part of a larger supply chain?   If you sell to an Export Trading Company or an Export Management Company – and they do export – then you may qualify. 

Indirect exporting is a great way for small businesses to get their foot in the exporting door. 

Foot in the Door

SBA regularly hosts trade seminars and export matchmaking events to help small business exporters, and those interested in exporting, get acquainted with everything SBA has to offer in terms of export assistance.  The most recent export matchmaking event was held in St. Louis.  More than 150 people from 16 states and four countries registered to participate.  Similar events have been held in Jersey City, N.J., and Tampa., Fla.

These seminars, as well as other training and counseling resources, are some of the ways SBA is actively helping small business exporters –or business that want to export- break into the global market and be successful. SBA’s Office of International Trade website offers a great deal of information online on how to begin exporting, how to finance your exports and foreign investment projects and much more. One of the best resources for export training and guidance are the US Export Assistance Centers. USEACs are located in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States and are staffed by professionals from the SBA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and other public and private organizations. Together, their mission is to provide the help you need to compete in today's global marketplace.

For more information about SBA export loans and services as well as on future Export Trade Matchmaking events, visit the Office of International Trade site.

About the Author:

Dario Gomez
Dario Gomez

Former SBA Official


Wow going global was something that never really crossed my mind. It seems like it would be too much of a hassle learning all the laws worldwide. But after reading this post I am starting to thing that any small business would be crazy not to at least look into eventually doing business overseas.

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