ELKINS - Small business owners gathered at the Randolph County Development Authority Wednesday for a workshop provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration on how to export goods to buyers overseas.
The workshop highlighted export opportunities available for small business owners, such as trade missions, which are scheduled meetings in various countries with potential international buyers. Other opportunities for outreach to potential international buyers are trade shows, events where each business owner gets to pitch their goods and services, and foreign buyer delegations, where potential buyers are screened and come to the small business.
Enybe Diaz, an international trade representative, told business owners in attendance there are firms who will set up trade missions in countries like China, Canada, Vietnam, Mexico, and many other countries where potential buyers reside.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Chad Clem
Caitlin Ashley, an international trade representative, speaks about resources provided for businesses in West Virginia looking to export their goods to other countries.
The workshop also listed resources available for exporters from the Mountain State, and the financing options that are available for those interested in exporting to international buyers.
"You should look into trade financing well in advance of taking a trade mission," said William Houck, regional manager of the Office of International Trade. "It's almost more important than knowing a potential buyer. You've got to know the tools to negotiate skills to finance a deal."
The seminar was not only a resource for information and education about the perks of exporting to international buyers, but also a networking opportunity for participants to learn about each other's exporting strategies.
"We know that 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside of the United States," said Judy McCauley, SBA West Virginia district director. "Exporting goods allows small businesses the ability to reach new markets, increase sales and create jobs."
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