Utah creates new small biz global trade center

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Utah small-business owners have a new resource to help take their ventures to customers around the world.

Salt Lake Community College’s Miller Business Resource Center announced Monday the creation of the SLCC-Utah Small Business Development Center Network Global Trade Center.

The new center will collaborate with the existing SLCC Global Business Center that was established in 2007. The consolidation of both programs will advance trade services for small businesses and continue the legacy of staunch support for international training and education, explained Jim Herrin, Salt Lake region director of the Utah Small Business Development Center.

“One of the things that we want to have happen is more businesses find out about global trade,” he said. “Then we can work with them one on one, give them the time they need so they feel comfortable with it.”

The Utah network is a program of the U.S. Small Business Administration that is funded by the agency, the state of Utah, as well as local colleges and universities where all 14 local centers are hosted, Herrin said. Business advisers with the Small Business Development Center provide free person-to-person assistance to small-business owners in all areas of business and help entrepreneurs that are trying to start their businesses or those who are already established, he added.

While just 1 percent of American small businesses export goods, those companies are responsible for one-third of total U.S. global exports, a news release states.

The state Department of Commerce reported that Utah exported $11.6 billion in goods in 2017, with small businesses accounting for 49 percent of the total. There are 2,917 small businesses that export goods and services, representing 84 percent of all export firms, according to the release.

Herrin said, in many cases, Utah companies may find greater chances for growth in foreign markets than in the U.S. because there is less competition.

“In many countries, made in the USA is (considered) a premium product,” he said. “So sometimes, (U.S. companies) can charge a premium price.”

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