COLUMBUS — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Columbus District Office recognizes the success of Ohio small business exporters during International Trade Month.
Small businesses make up 89.1 percent of exporters in Ohio. In 2014, 14,841 small businesses exported goods from Ohio, generating 23.7 percent of Ohio’s $46.7 billion in total known exports.
“SBA resources make worldwide commerce achievable for many small businesses,” U.S. SBA Columbus District Director Rick Garcia said. “U.S. exports totaled $2.21 trillion in 2016 and roughly 70 percent of those exporting companies were small businesses, with 20 or fewer employees. By expanding your customer base internationally, you can reach out to the more than 95 percent of the world’s population that have a growing demand for American goods and services.”
SBA can help entrepreneurs get started and succeed in the global market through its trade education programs and international loan guarantees. “YourBusiness Global – A Guide to Exporting” provides businesses with a step-by-step approach to developing an export-marketing plan. It is available at http://www.sba.gov/international. SBA also offers free, online, small business export training at http://www.sba.gov/training.
“The ‘Made in America’ brand carries a lot of respect in other countries,” said Zach Green, owner of MN8 Foxfire and LumAware, safety products that utilize strontium to improve visibility during emergency situations and power outages. “The SBA and the Department of Commerce made it possible for me to export, cutting through the red tape and establishing my legitimacy to overseas customers.”
By taking advantage of SBA’s exporting program, Green has been able to double the number of full-time employees at his business to 12 workers and provide them with healthcare benefits.
According to the International Trade Administration, U.S. exports supported 11.5 million jobs in 2015. In Ohio, 260,436 jobs were supported through the export business. Small businesses can take advantage of multiple resources at the federal and state level to explore the feasibility of exporting.
U.S. Export Assistance Centers are staffed by members from the SBA, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Export-Import Bank and other public and private organizations. Their mission is to provide resources to small businesses to compete in the global marketplace. Find a local center at https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/exporting/us-export-assistance-centers.