By Al Titone, District Manager of SBA New Jersey May 25, 2021
As small businesses strive to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, many may look to international trade to expand revenue opportunities. May is International Trade Month, which is the perfect opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs to regain their pre-pandemic momentum by tapping into global demand and international markets. In a difficult and uncertain situation, trading can be essential in sustaining income with a new or expanded customer base.
As they strive to enter or re-enter the global marketplace, New Jersey small businesses are on the brink of success. Almost 96% of global consumers live outside the United States, and commerce accounts for almost two-thirds of the $ 80 trillion global economy. Since exporting is a component of a company’s growth strategy, a business can grow faster, create jobs and pay higher wages, while contributing to the local economy.
We know that by looking at the data. Here in the Garden State, a total of 20,633 companies exported goods from New Jersey in 2020, according to the US International Trade Administration. Of those, 18,953, or 91.9%, were small businesses, which generated 41.4% of New Jersey’s $ 31.8 billion in total exports.
The international trade and assistance that the SBA can provide are the means to help New Jersey small businesses enter or expand their presence in the global market. In addition, US trade deals have recently created more favorable avenues to support the export of small businesses, especially in some important products, including chemical powders like palladium and rhodium, cosmetics, mid-size automotive components, medical instruments, etc. sold outside the borders of our country.
It’s a huge and tempting market – and you can call on the US Small Business Administration and its partners to help you grow globally with confidence. Potential and experienced exporters can now access the free SBA network, including SCORE mentors and 13 New Jersey Small Business Development Centers through the technology. They offer free consulting services to small business owners at all stages of the business and specific international trade consultants to work with anyone. The SBA Export Assistance Center serving New Jersey can also provide you with personalized business advice for selling outside the country.
For international trade finance, the SBA supports three specific export loan options: international trade, export working capital and the Export Express. With loan amounts of up to $ 5 million, these can offer companies that export directly or indirectly alternatives to cash upfront, reducing risk and improving cash flow. Export Express loans up to $ 500,000 can be approved in just a few days. The SBA guarantee of up to 90% makes the risk more attractive to lenders. The Economic Aid Act allows the SBA to pay principal, interest, and borrowers’ fees on these loans for at least three months from February 1, reduced lender fees, and gave lenders more than flexibility in the structuring of loans. Several New Jersey-based SBA lenders can provide these export loans to help you on your way.
The SBA also supports the development of export activities through the state’s trade expansion program. The agency awarded $ 1 million in STEP funds last year alone to the New Jersey Business Action Center, increasing the global footprint of small businesses through virtual and in-person events in overseas markets of Canada, Brazil. , Mexico, China and the United Arab Emirates. , Israel, Africa, Europe and South America.
There is no doubt that international trade can improve the competitiveness of small businesses. During International Trade Month, Garden State businesses should consider pivoting and improving their customer base and revenue. For more information on SBA financing and business support, visit sba.gov/exporting or contact SBA New Jersey’s International Trade Manager Eduard Ekel at [email protected]
To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.