National experts on exports are coming to Minneapolis Feb. 17 for a day-long forum to help small and medium businesses learn how to get their products into foreign markets.
It’s called the “New Markets, New Jobs” program, and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills and Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg are all expected at the event, along with Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.
Officials say smaller businesses have many hurdles in trying to export their products, including a lack of information about exporting and market research, difficulty getting export financing, and strong competition from foreign companies and governments.
Activities at the forum will include:
- Trade resource panels on key export topics, including the spectrum of federal resources that can help businesses begin exporting or expand their exports;
- Materials and resources to guide companies in the process of selling their products to consumers all over the world; and
- Lessons learned from area businesses that have succeeded in using federal resources to expand into new markets and grow their businesses.
Later in the year, the export experts will take the program to California, Louisiana and Delaware.