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Sounding off: SBEA's hard work pays off for small business exporters.

There is good news for small-business exporters who plan to use the valuable services of the U.S. Commerce Department to help find overseas customers and distributors--Prices are actually going down!

After several years of negotiation between the exporter community, the Commerce Department, and the White House Office of Management and Budget, the Commerce Department has lowered its charges to small-business exporters, particularly first-time users of Commerce's exporter services. (Fees charges to companies with more than 500 employees, however, will rise.)

Perhaps the most celebrated and admired service offered by the Commerce Department is its "Gold Key Service," Here's how it works: An exporter tells the Commerce Department what he or she hopes to export and to which market(s). Then the Commerce Department personnel in the U.S. Embassies in those markets identify qualified buyers and distributors for the products. When the exporter flies into that country, a series of appointment with pre-vetted buyers is already set up. This great service eliminates much of the worry about prospective foreign buyers, and saves enormous amounts of time and money for exporters traveling abroad. Also, foreign buyers tend to be impressed by an exporter who can get the U.S. Embassy to act on his or her behalf.

Other exporter services offered by the Commerce Department include profiles of potential foreign buyers and joint venture partners, as well as assistance with web promotion overseas.

SBEA worked closely with the Commerce Department on this revised fee initiative, and commends the Department for its leadership.
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Title Annotation:COUNCIL UPDATES
Author:Morrison, Jim
Publication:NSBA Advocate
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Words:252
Previous Article:Battle on the hill: SBTC is fighting to keep "small business" in SBIR program.
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