Durbin Encourages Illinois Small Businesses To Grow Sales And Create Jobs By Ramping Up Exports

[CHICAGO, IL] – The leading export officials in the Obama Administration joined U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in Chicago today to promote the services the federal government offers to help small businesses increase their sales overseas. The Illinois Small Business Export Promotion Forum, hosted by Durbin, featured U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Export Import Bank of the U.S. Chairman and President Fred Hochberg, and U.S. Small Business Regional Administrator Marianne Markowitz.
“Helping businesses create jobs is my highest priority,” Durbin told conference participants. “Small businesses are the economic engine of this country and the key to a true recovery. With an unemployment rate in Illinois above 11%, Illinois needs more jobs now. Small businesses can create those jobs if they can find their customers just a little more easily.”
“In today’s economy, many American families are cutting back their spending, jobs are being lost, houses are at risk of foreclosure, and credit card debts are already too high, American consumers cannot be counted on to lead our economy back to rapid growth,” Durbin said.
“For small businesses that are ready to grow but need customers who are ready to buy, there may not be enough demand here at home. That’s why it’s so important to find customers wherever they may be. Since 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the US, our small businesses need to be able to export effectively to take advantage of the growth that the world markets can support,” Durbin said
“Soon after Congress returns to Washington next week, the Senate plans to pursue a bill that would help small businesses create more jobs. That bill would help business owners access the credit they need to grow, and it would also increase funding for the export services highlighted during today’s forum. I will work with my colleagues to pass that bill quickly. The additional funding for the Department of Commerce, the SBA, the USTR, and the Ex-Im Bank will help these organizations help you sell more of what you make to customers across the world,” Durbin told conference participants.
"What we're trying to do is get more companies to export to more countries to find more customers, and in the end we'll create more jobs. Ex-Im Bank has never been in a better place to meet that challenge than we are today," said Export Import Bank of the U.S. Chairman and President Fred Hochberg.

Durbin cited the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) in Chicago as the first, best point of contact for small businesses interested in beginning to export or to increase their sales overseas, noting Chicago’s center is one of the strongest in the nation. ITA's Commercial Services operates a global network of trade professionals in USEACs in 109 U.S. locations and in U.S. Embassies and Consulates in 77 countries. They work with U.S. companies to provide numerous services ranging from counseling, advocacy support, and market research to industry expertise and identification of potential international buyers or partners. These experts guide companies through every step of the export process, from learning how to export to logistics and shipping issues. The U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service is the only U.S. Government agency with a network of both domestic and overseas offices working together to support export promotion.