SBA connects small businesses with global economy

Small businesses constantly seek ways to grow their customer base. However, many don't realize approximately 95 percent of their potential new customers live outside the United States.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Monday, October 17, 2016 1:30pm
  • Business

Small businesses constantly seek ways to grow their customer base. However, many don’t realize approximately 95 percent of their potential new customers live outside the United States.

Exporting has proven to have many benefits to both small businesses and the local economy. Small businesses that export to foreign markets sell more, support more jobs, and pay higher wages than small businesses that don’t export.

The Puget Sound region is the most trade-dependent region in the most trade dependent state in the U.S. where one in three jobs are tied to trade.

In fact, an estimated 390,690 U.S. jobs were supported by goods exported from Washington in 2014. And during that same year, the value of goods exported from Washington totaled $90.6 billion, up 206 percent since 2004.

Despite the economic benefits, there can be a sense of uneasiness or “fear of the unknown” when it comes to doing business overseas. That is why the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) focuses on three areas to help small business grow their business through exporting:

1. The SBA State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

This month, small businesses in Covington, Maple Valley and across Washington will have access to $850,000 in funding to help them enter and compete in the global marketplace through the SBA State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), which supports activities to increase exporting by small businesses.

This is the fifth consecutive year the Washington State Department of Commerce has received SBA STEP funding. Washington is also one of a few states to receive the highest amount of funding available.

Whether it’s enabling a business owner to meet face-to-face with a buyer overseas or providing education on options for foreign financial transactions, the SBA STEP grant helps local businesses grow their customer base. This is done byhelping with the following expenses:

• Trade show and trade mission fees, registration, etc.

• Travel, airfare (U.S. carrier only)

• Interpreter fees

• Translation services (website, marketing materials, etc.)

• Export training programs and services of the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service

• International Certifications

2. SBA International Trade Loan Guarantee Program

Many in the business community are familiar with the SBA Loan Guarantee Program, which provides a guarantee to lenders, mitigates their risk, and allows them to provide financing to small businesses in situations they wouldn’t be able to conventionally.

However, few people are aware of the SBA Export Loan Programs, which can have up to a 90 percent guarantee – the highest guarantee available on any SBA loan.

Options include the Export Working Capital Program, which offers financing up to $5 million as a credit enhancement; the Export Express Loan Program, the simplest export loan product that offers streamlined financing up to $500,000; or the International Trade Loan Program, which offers loans up to $5 million for fixed assets and working capital for businesses that plan to start or continue exporting.

3. Local Export Outreach Team

Our local SBA office – together with SBA Office of International Trade staff based in the Pacific Northwest – collaborate with local export resource partners as part of the Washington Export Outreach Team.

This group of government agencies and economic development partners work together to guide and support small businesses through every step of the exporting process. Team members include the following:

• Export Readiness Center, part of the Small Business Development Center network

• U.S. Commercial Service, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce

• Export Washington, part of the Washington Department of Commerce

• Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

• International Marketing Program, part of the Washington Department of Agriculture

• Export Finance Assistance Center of Washington

Together with our local international trade partners, we’re able to help Covington and Maple Valley small businesses grow through exports; and, provide small business owners with tools, opportunities and peace-of-mind when doing business outside the U.S.

Calvin Goings is Regional Administrator for SBA Region 10 in Seattle which serves Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@covingtonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.covingtonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

A heatmap showing the inclusivity of each state, which is based on the total Business Climate Score. The green states are the most inclusive, while the red are least inclusive; yellow and orange fall in the middle. Courtesy of Out Leadership.
Washington ranks 13th in State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index

Washington’s lowest score was 13 out of 20 points in the Work Environment and Employment section.

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Volatility and disciplined planning in 2022’s stock market | Guest column

The stock market in January experienced significantly increased volatility. In the first… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino. Courtesy photo
Kirkland-based company sues to challenge ‘tribal gaming monopoly’ in Washington

Company called the state’s policy an “erroneous application of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
The forces behind our current COVID-induced inflation | Guest column

Recent inflation numbers have been quite high and at levels not seen… Continue reading

Teaser
Best of Covington 2021 winners announced

Categories range from People, Restaurants, Services and Shopping.

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
The ‘year end’ elements of financial planning | Guest column

With the end of the year fast approaching, we remind clients that… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
How financial planners address plan uncertainty | Guest column

One of the key challenges we face as financial planners is dealing… Continue reading

t
Nana’s Southern Kitchen opens Covington location

Restaurant started in Kent in 2019

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Is cryptocurrency really an investment? | Guest column

Undoubtedly you have heard about the new form of money known as… Continue reading

Stock photo
Grocery store workers have right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons

National Labor Relations Board ruling against ban by Kroger-owned QFC, Fred Meyer

A Darigold dairy worker practices picketing as a strike is approved by the union. Photo courtesy of Julia Issa
Puget Sound Darigold workers on verge of strike amid contract negotiations

Workers cite lack of medical leave, outsourcing and bad-faith negotiations as reason for strike.