Today, nearly 96 percent of consumers and over two-thirds of the world's purchasing power reside outside the United States. Here at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), we know that these consumers play an important role in the long-term success of America's small businesses, and are working to help small business owners across the country grow their businesses in this global economy.
Small businesses now constitute 34 percent of total export dollars, and comprise approximately 97.8 percent of all exporters. At SBA, we provide counseling, training and financing to ensure that small businesses have the tools they need to tap into the global market--and we're seeing results:
- Since FY 2009, SBA has guaranteed 6,400 loans to small business exporters for over 3.3 billion and supported more than 6.3 billion in exports.
- We have 19 international trade officers at U.S. Export Assistance Centers to provide counseling, help small businesses with export financing, and assist in finding working capital.
- Additionally, since FY 2009, SBA has trained and counseled over 29,000 lenders on SBA export loan guarantee programs, as well as over 58,000 small businesses on exporting and SBA finance options.
I recently visited TLC Products -- a Cleveland business which manufactures live bacterial products used for environmentally-friendly water treatment in ponds, septic systems and aquariums. The company credits SBA Express loans and other products with transforming their business. Today, they have export opportunities to eight countries and expect to increase sales significantly next year with additional sales to China, India and Mexico.
While the number of small businesses that choose to export is growing, we want to make sure that even more small businesses have the capital and skills training they need to be successful exporters.
That's why SBA is partnering with Visa Inc. to get the word out to small business owners across America about how exporting can help their business grow. If you export your goods or services around the world and have used a federal government program or assistance to get there, we want to hear from you!
By entering SBA and Visa's "2013 Export Video Contest," you'll get the chance to educate other small businesses about the benefits of exporting and the government programs that can help -- and you might even win up to $10,000 in prize money from Visa.
We're accepting entries through April 5, 2013, so click here for more information on eligibility and contest rules.
Exporting is a win-win for America's economy. Export sales contribute to a strong middle class by fueling economic opportunity and jobs in communities across the United States, while the countries buying our products gain access to some of the highest-quality products and services in the world. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/international.