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SBA study finds state export programs lacking.

A Small Business Administration study of nine state export promotion programs found these programs tend to measure success by the growth of export sales. Since it is easier to convince existing exporters to increase sales than to convince small businesses to begin exporting, program emphasis is usually placed on existing, larger exporters.

Exporter magazine says only 3,600 of 104,000 U.S. exporters send more than 250 shipments overseas each year. Smaller exporters constitute 78% of all exporters, averaging 6 shipments per year, with an average value of $43,000 each.

The study also said state programs often fail to take into account the different assistance needs between exporters and potential exporters. To make state export programs more responsive to small business needs, the SBA study made the following recommendations. States should

* Establish goals for programs aimed at increasing the number of exporters.

* Direct programs aimed at increasing the dollar value of exports toward infrequent exporters.

* Distinguish promotion efforts from assistance programs and allocate specific resources to each.

* Provide counseling services on a commission basis and provide seminars and training sessions on a fee basis.

* Increase coordination with, and publicity about, state-supported export assistance providers.

* Establish feedback programs in order to evaluate export promotion activities.

* Survey users to establish whether services provided are useful and to identify the reasons behind the assessment.
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Title Annotation:Small Business Administration
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 1, 1992
Words:223
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