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Want to do export business? Fort Lewis event to explore options

Congressman Scott Tipton and Colorado’s U.S. Export Assistance Center have teamed up to put on an Export 101 event.

The most recent figures available show that around 4,459 companies export from Colorado annually.

Of these, 88 percent are small or medium-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Further increasing Colorado exports will help create jobs and sustain thousands of Colorado businesses. Of the 281,668 small businesses exporters in the United States, 58 percent export to only one market, and 83 percent export to between one and four countries. There is a fear of uncertainty when entering a new market, and with limited time and resources, small businesses tend to go with what is safe and proven.

“Southwestern Colorado has been hit especially hard during these tough economic times. This event is a chance for employers to get valuable information on the opportunities and resources available to help their businesses grow,” Tipton said. “More exports equal more jobs, and the Export 101 event is a great forum to assist businesses with navigating the export process.”

The export forum in southwest Colorado will allow international trade experts from the federal government and other industries to assist small businesses with export opportunities.

This event will bring together trade specialists and potential small business exporters, which could lead to new export successes. Congressman Tipton will moderate a panel of speakers that will include federal and local trade experts. The panelists will speak about the broad export procedure and explain the resources available to assist local businesses. Following the panelist remarks, business owners will be available to meet one-on-one with trade specialists to address specific questions.

The event will take place 1-2:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, at Fort Lewis College, Noble Hall Room 130.

Tentative schedule:

1-1:15: Welcome remarks by Congressman Tipton and introduction of the panelists.

1:15-1:40: Colorado’s U.S. Export Assistance Center-Export 101 overview and other issues (financing, export controls).

1:40-1:55: Local businesses that have successfully exported.

1:55-2:10: Governor’s office of Economic Development and International Trade.

2:10-2:30: Presentation of Export Achievement Certificates for local businesses that have shown growth in exporting.

2:30-2:45: Open for questions and answers.

Participants include Congressman Tipton, two trade specialists from Colorado’s U.S. Export Assistance Center, a representative from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the Durango Workforce Center, the Pagosa Springs Workforce Center, the Cortez Workforce Center, the Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Centers, La Plata Economic Development Alliance, the Durango Chamber of Commerce and numerous small business owners.

Most small businesses do not have the resources or knowledge to export and they rely heavily on the federal agencies to guide them through the process. Increased education, outreach and coordination are essential to get more small businesses to export.

R.S.V.P. to jeff.small@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-1405 if you would like to participate in this event or have additional questions. There is no fee to attend. Free parking will be available in front of Noble Hall by the Student Union.

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