Exporting: Vital to the Indy Region’s Economic Vitality

A continuing series of takeaways from World Trade Day 2018

At World Trade Day on April 10, we were joined by two experts in the field of exporting: Andy Reinke, Export Adviser at the Indiana Small Business Development Center, and Mark Cooper, Director of the US Department of Commerce’s US Commercial Service in Indiana. They discussed the importance of exporting and resources available to small-medium sized businesses looking to go global.

Exports are an integral part of the Indy Chamber’s work to put the region on the map as a metro for global business. We help businesses across the region to grow via exports through:

  1. Collaboration with partners to offer export services to small- and medium-sized firms.
  2. Proactive outreach to companies that can grow through exports, to connect them to these services.
  3. Funding through our GoGlobal Grant export acceleration program, supported by JPMorgan Chase.

Both Mr. Reinke and Mr. Cooper are partners in these efforts to support exports. Here were the key takeaways from their remarks:

Why Export?
96 percent of the World’s consumers live outside of the United States. In 2017 alone, Indiana exported $38 billion in goods and services. Meanwhile, over 180,000 Hoosier jobs are supported by exports and exporting industries.

Small-to-medium sized companies can significantly expand their customer bases by exporting. However, research shows that a large portion of companies in the Indy-region that could be exporting are not. There are many resources available to these businesses.

Resources for going global
Both the US Commercial Service and the Indiana Small Business Development Center offer services to Hoosier companies – often free of charge – to help local firms sell their products and services overseas.

Indiana Small Business Development Center
The ISBDC offers a multi-tiered development program to determine whether or not a company is export ready, and assistance to get them there. Many of these services are free to local firms. Export coaches support companies in the following steps:

  • Export Readiness: ensuring that a company has a product that has been successful in the US, significant production capacity, and a clearly defined plan
  • Market Research: assessing which countries may be the best fit for a product or service
  • Benchmarking: contacting similar, non-competing companies to determine successful export strategies
  • Foreign Market Representation: researching overseas partners
  • Promotion Strategies: determining the best ways to market and sell overseas
  • Assembling an Export Team: assistance in finding partners like banks, freight, and legal services providers
  • Assessment and Adjustment: tracking changes in the market and adjusting the strategy accordingly
  • Export Compliance: ensuring a company is adhering to US and international trade guidelines

US Commercial Service through the US Department of Commerce in Indiana
The US Commercial Service offers a number of services to exporting companies including counseling and market intelligence. Many services are free of charge and tap into the resources of US embassies and consulates overseas.

  • Trade Counseling: assisting with planning and strategy, legal and regulatory issues, proper documentation, trade finance and insurance, and other issues as they arise
  • Business Matchmaking: searching for international partners, assistance with trade shows and organizing trade missions
  • Market Intelligence: providing reports on countries and industries, customized market research, trade data and analysis, and blueprints for international expansion
  • Commercial Diplomacy: protects US business interests abroad and provides access to foreign government procurement bids

Where to begin?
Companies in the Indianapolis-metro region can call the Indy Chamber for free consultations on which resources best fit the needs of their firm. Businesses can also contact ISBDC and the US Commercial Service directly:

  • Jennifer Pearl, Director of International Programs at the Indy Partnership, a business unit of the Indy Chamber: [email protected]
  • Andrew Reinke, Export Advisor, ISBDC, [email protected]

To schedule a meeting, contact: Teresa Marti of the Central ISBDC, [email protected]

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