Oct. 25-26: SBDC hosts for new-to-exporting workshop

By Hope Belli Tinney, Washington SBDC

sbdc logoMOSES LAKE, Wash. – New-to-export business owners are invited to a two-day export readiness workshop Oct. 25-26 presented by the Washington Small Business Development Center and hosted by the economic development councils in Grant and Adams counties.

Exporting is not just for big companies, said Vern Jenkins, an international trade specialist with the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC). According to the U.S. International Trade Association (ITA), nearly 98 percent of all U.S. exporters are small or medium-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

The ITA reports that, on average, companies that sell goods overseas grow faster, add more employees and those employees earn more than employees at non-exporting companies. A 2016 study by the ITA found that the biggest obstacles to starting an export program are not knowing how to get started, not understanding regulatory issues and fear of not getting paid.

All of those issues and more will be covered during the two-day workshop, Jenkins said. Topics include how to assess export readiness and export opportunities, financing tools and resources, and reliable methods of payment.

Presenters at the workshop include Allan Peterson, a certified business advisor with the Washington SBDC, a representative from the WA Department of Agriculture officials, an official from EXIM Bank, logistics and shipping experts and SBA loan specialists.

Peterson and Jenkins have assisted dozens of businesses in Central and Eastern Washington build their export trade, including facilitating two out-bound trade missions in 2016 and 2017 to Korea and Japan involving more than a dozen businesses selling products ranging from snack bars to heaters fueled by waste oil.

The Washington SBDC is a network of more than two dozen certified business advisors and two international trade specialists who help small business owners start, grow or transition a business. The Washington SBDC is hosted by Washington State University and is supported by the US Small Business Administration.

The workshop is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Oct. 25-26, at the Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center in Moses Lake. The cost is $40 and includes a workshop manual and handouts. For more information call 509-764-6579. Register online at the SBDC website.