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Exporting: A big opportunity for West Virginia small businesses

Exporting isn’t just for big companies. Small and medium businesses represent 98 percent of the 408,000 businesses that engaged in international trade in 2015, according to the United States Department of Commerce.


Never explored exporting before? Consider these facts as you look into the possibility. 

Customers. Nearly 95 percent of the world’s potential customers live outside the United States. Many of these international businesses have a demand for West Virginia products.

Profits. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration reports that companies that export are 17 percent more profitable than those that don’t.

Diversification. This may be a reason that often gets overlooked. Exporting allows businesses to diversify their customer portfolio which helps them navigate the changes in U.S. economy. Exporting can smooth business cycles, including sales for products related to seasonal use.

Just think West Virginia hardwood lumber or mining equipment manufacturers. Both are key industries in our state. Without exporting, many of these businesses may not be here today.

Assistance. West Virginia businesses don’t have to jump into exporting alone. If you’re new to exporting, the West Virginia Department of Commerce team can provide consulting and guidance to get you started. If you’re already exporting, the Commerce team can provide opportunities to expand your potential. Events such as trade missions create opportunities for West Virginia businesses to get in front of prospective foreign buyers and connect with potential distributors.  Remaining trade events in 2017 include:

Mexico Trade Mission, July 24-25. Deadline to apply: May 31

South Korea and Japan Trade Mission, Sept. 7-13. Deadline to apply: July 7

Trade Winds Southeast Europe, October 16-25. Deadline to apply: August 15

Israel Trade Mission, Dec. 4-7. Deadline to apply: Sept. 29

These markets represent great opportunity for West Virginia small and medium-sized companies offering building products, mining machinery, equipment, analytical instruments and other industrial and consumer products.

For more information on West Virginia Department of Commerce export opportunities, visit worldtradewv.com or contact Enybe Diaz, 304-957-2018, enybe.diaz@wv.gov.



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