Audit Report 7-12: Efforts to Assist Small Businesses Compete in International Markets
On January 29, 2007, the OIG issued Audit Report 7-12, Efforts to Assist Small Businesses Compete in International Markets. The objectives of this survey were to assess the extent to which the SBA is (1) conducting information-gathering activities with U.S. small businesses to identify key international trade constraints and working with U.S. Trade Representatives to secure relief from these constraints; (2) disseminating trade promotion information and business leads; (3) facilitating business matchmaking and developing business leads; and (4) accurately presenting annual accomplishments and upcoming annual international trade plans in the National Export Strategy presented to Congress. Through this survey, the OIG found that the SBA, in its general course of work, has identified key international trade constraints confronting small businesses seeking markets abroad for their products and services, but has not attempted to survey small businesses formally. The SBA however, has focused its modest resources on assisting small businesses mostly with export finance assistance. Finally, although the SBA is a member of the Trade Committee, it plays a limited role, has a minimal share of the total budget authority as compared with other members, and does noes not have its annual accomplishments and upcoming trade plans sufficiently described in the Trade Committee’s most recent annual strategic document.