Increasing Small Business Exports Is Center’s Goal
September 10th, 2015 by Gwen Green
Less than one percent of the state’s small businesses export goods, a number the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center wants to increase.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, only 1,758 of the more than 242,000 small firms in Arkansas exported in 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
“We want to help more businesses ‘go global’ because foreign countries represent huge untapped markets with 95 percent of the world’s customers,” said ASBTDC State Director Janet Roderick, a member of the Arkansas District Export Council. “Exporting isn’t as difficult as a lot of business owners think. Once companies get started, exporting becomes a normal part of business operations – except your customer is in Canada or Brazil or Australia.”
The center is bringing nationally recognized exporting trainer Elyse Eriksson to Arkansas next month to present a full-day exporting workshop in three cities. Eriksson, managing director of Export Connector and author of The Riddle of the Exporter™, will share her eight-step approach for new exporters.
The workshops will be in Fort Smith Oct. 13, Little Rock Oct. 15 and Jonesboro Oct. 20. Pre-registration is required. See asbtdc.org/training or call 501.683.7700 for more information.
In addition, all ASBTDC’s business consultants are certified Export Assistance Counselors. Consulting services, available through ASBTDC’s seven locations around the state, are always free and confidential for small businesses. ASBTDC also plans to set up exporting “pop-up” centers at upcoming business expos and other events where consulting staff can share information about exporting and international trade opportunities.
Small businesses that are considering exporting can request an Export Snapshot from ASBTDC. Drawing on the center’s extensive market research capabilities, the snapshot provides a customized look at potential foreign markets with industry-specific data.
Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with SBA through a partnership with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business and other institutions of higher education, ASBTDC assists all types of small businesses by providing business consulting and market research services at no charge plus affordable training.
In addition to the ASBTDC lead office at UALR, regional offices are located at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro; Arkansas Tech University in Russellville; Henderson State University in Arkadelphia; Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia; the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville; and the University of Arkansas at Monticello. To find the nearest ASBTDC office, see asbtdc.org/locations.