Preparing for Success in International Trade
International business represents a substantial part of Oregon’s economy. Oregon’s location on the Pacific Rim allows our goods to be shipped to the rapidly growing Far Eastern marketplace where the desire for food that is both safe and high in nutrition and health benefits is important to a growing middle class.
There are many reasons a company might choose to expand its market overseas including increasing sales volume, enlarging a sales base to spread out fixed costs, compensating for seasonal fluctuations in domestic sales and tap into emerging markets for their goods.
The ORBC export readiness web pages will offer information on items that can help your company become ready to export. From lists of things to consider when thinking about exporting to contacts for companies who can help with shipping, packing and information on particular markets these pages will aid in getting ready to take your berries or berry products to new markets worldwide.
Export Readiness Resources
Western United States Agricultural
Trade Association (WUSATA)
WUSATA is the premier exporting resource for agribusiness based in the Western United States. The majority of WUSATA services and programs are offered at a low cost to qualifying companies. This is done by combining resources from the Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) branch of the USDA and western member states along with private firms.
WUSATA offers two major programs to help promote exports, the Branded Program and the Generic Program.
- The Branded Program provides assistance to small food and agricultural companies in marketing their products overseas. Qualifying companies can receive up to 50% cost reimbursement on eligible promotional expenses
- The Generic Program offers industry wide food and agricultural trade activities that are managed by both WUSATA and its 13 member states. The events are offered at low cost and discounted rates to companies through the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and include everything from international trade shows to market research.
To start participating in low cost and discounted trade activities or to participate in the Branded Program contact WUSATA by email or by phone at 360-693-3373. You can view upcoming trade events by visiting WUSATA’s event calendar.
US Small Business Association (SBA), Office of International Trade
The SBA offers help with international trade to enhance the ability of small businesses to compete in the global marketplace.
Oregon agribusinesses can get help from the SBA office in Portland, Oregon. Contact the SBA Portland office by phone at 503-326-5498 or visit their website for information on services offered and to sign up for a helpful newsletter on export readiness and networking receptions.
The SBA has developed an Export Business Planner specifically for small businesses. In is an interactive, all in one guide, reference and tool for developing an Export Business Plan.
The US Export Assistance Center (USEAC) in Portland is staffed by US Commercial Service experts on foreign trade who help provide market leads through the US embassy network. They offer individual guidance and training classes on export strategies.
Business Oregon (Oregon’s state commerce agency) has an international Trade Assistance division to help Oregon companies.
State Trade and Export Program (STEP) With funds awarded by SBA, Business Oregon makes matching grants of up to $5,000 to small businesses to defray the cost of overseas marketing efforts, such as attending trade shows.
Financing for Export Costs
SBA Office of International Trade
SBA provides enhanced loan guarantees to business lenders when they make loans to small businesses involved in exporting:
- International Trade Loan Guaranty (ITL) SBA guarantees commercial loans up to $5 million for fixed assets, working capital or debt refinancing projects that will improve the competitive position of the exporting business
- Export Working Capital Program ( EWCP) SBA guarantees lines of credit up to $5 million for exporter working capital needs.
- Export Express. SBA developed this fast track approval program for experienced SBA lenders on loans for exporters upt to $500,000.
Ex-Im Bank provides working capital loan guaranties and export insurance for business transactions involving the shipment of export products with a majority of US content.
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
USDA’s GSM-102 Program guarantees letters of credit from foreign banks supporting the purchase of US agricultural commodities or products with a 90% US agricultural commodity content.
Other business financing resources
USDA Rural development offers guarantees on commercial loans to rual businesses as well as some targeted grants for value-added and energy projects.