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Here are some of the resources available to small business owners who want to learn about exporting:
—Export.gov. The government website has information on a wide range of exporting topics and offers online training programs. It also has listings for trade shows and export opportunities. Links will take you to government agencies including the Department of Commerce and Small Business Administration. Visit www.export.gov
—Small Business Administration. The SBA also has information on its website, including a section on its export lending programs. It shares some of the sites on Export.gov. Visit http://tinyurl.com/pc2fhst
—Small Business Development Centers. The SBA sponsors these centres at 900 sites throughout the U.S. They provide free advice and low- or no-cost education on a wide range of small business concerns including exporting. You can find out more about SBDCs at http://tinyurl.com/42tzwt5
—SCORE. The organization that offers free advice to small businesses on a wide range of topics including export. You can find a SCORE counsellor at www.score.org
—Export-Import Bank. The Ex-Im Bank helps small businesses get financing for export loans. Visit its website at www.exim.gov It also has regional offices in Atlanta and Minneapolis. An office is scheduled to open in Seattle in August and in Detroit in late fall.
—Export Assistance Centers: These are offices in major cities that are staffed by employees of the SBA, the Commerce Department, the Export-Import Bank and public and private groups. You can locate one by visiting www.sba.gov/content/us-export-assistance-centres
—Embassies. If you're interested in exporting to a particular country, the U.S. embassy in that country can be a resource. Search online for "doing business in" and the country's name. As an example, the website for doing business in Ireland is http://tinyurl.com/qx2762l
—Trade Missions. These are trips organized through the Department of Commerce to help U.S. companies find buyers in overseas markets. You can learn about them at a section of Export.gov. Visit http://tinyurl.com/otao84t
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