The United States is the largest, most competitive and technologically advanced economy in the world. U.S. Gross Domestic Product has consistently seen growth of 1.8% or more since 2011. The United States is known throughout the world for high quality, innovative goods and services, customer service, and sound business practices. U.S. exports of goods and services totaled $2.1 trillion in 2011. Exports are a growing and substantial part of the U.S. economy, accounting for 13.8% of our nation’s GDP. Today, improvements in trade finance, the Internet, and trade agreements have dramatically increased access to markets worldwide. More than 70 % of the world’s purchasing power is located outside of the United States. Your competitors are increasing their global market share, and you can too. Exporting can be profitable for businesses of all sizes. On average, sales grow faster, more jobs are created, and employees earn more than in non-exporting firms.
Companies that export do better than companies that don’t. Here are the reasons why:
• Faster growth: Exporters achieve greater top-line revenue growth than non-exporters.
• More productive: Manufacturers that export are 30% more productive than those that don’t.
• More Profitable: Exporters generate 121% more revenue on average.
• More Resilient: Market diversification makes exporters more resilient to economic shocks.
• More Competitive: Companies that export benefit from economies of scale and increased efficiencies.
• More Innovative: Companies that export are 25% more innovative and more likely to adopt innovative technologies.
• Last Longer: Exporting increases business longevity, helping companies stay in business longer.
The N.C. Passport to Export program, called State Trade Expansion Program, was created to help small businesses grow globally. The program is a component of the National Export Initiative and is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
STEP is designed to help North Carolina-based small businesses generate new export revenues and create or retain new jobs for North Carolina by preparing them for exporting with an array of trade-related resources and services. The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina are offering funds to qualifying businesses through STEP.
The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides funding to qualifying small businesses to offset costs associated with exporting. STEP funds assist companies with participating in foreign trade shows and trade missions; developing websites to attract foreign buyers; designing international marketing materials to reach a broader audience; obtaining services to support foreign market entry; and attending select export education courses throughout the program year. Eligible companies can receive a maximum of $10,000 from STEP this year; up to $5,000 toward booth costs and up to $3,000 toward travel costs, with up to $2,000 in export service costs totaling the maximum of $10,000 this year.
Special consideration will be offered to companies that are woman-owned, veteran-owned, minority-owned, and rurally based, as well as companies that are in select sectors in the National Export Initiative, including: textiles, life sciences, and clean/green technology.
By growing globally, small businesses thrive locally.