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|Articles - April 2013|
|Monday, April 01, 2013|
BY TIM MCCABE
The link is simple, straightforward and well proven: finding export markets for Oregon products means thousands of jobs for Oregonians here at home. Export-supported jobs linked to manufacturing account for an estimated 5.1% of Oregon’s total private-sector employment. Nearly one in four manufacturing jobs in Oregon depends on exports, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. That is why Gov. John Kitzhaber has already taken three business development missions overseas to South Korea, to China and Japan (September 2011); China, Hong Kong and Japan (October 2012); and to the Netherlands and Germany last month.
International trade impacts every region of the state, with nearly 5,000 Oregon companies exporting their goods and services abroad, from large companies like Intel and Nike to blueberry farmers in the Willamette Valley and recycling equipment manufacturers in Eugene. To take advantage of global opportunities for small businesses, through Business Oregon, the state offers company-specific counseling on export-related questions and concerns with our expert team of global trade specialists. Our team can help find a winning match when it comes to foreign agent/distributors, foreign customers or joint-venture partners.
In addition, Business Oregon has overseas representatives in Japan, China, South Korea and Europe to connect companies to critical networks of foreign-government officials, foreign companies and foreign-trade associations. These representatives can provide due diligence when researching potential agents and distributors in foreign markets, on-the-ground knowledge of global competition in foreign markets, and expertise in cultural and business protocol in foreign cultures.
To get started exhibiting at international trade shows, Business Oregon offers matching grants to help defray the costs of attending. The Oregon Trade Promotion Program offers export assistance grants of up to $3,500. In addition, Business Oregon now also manages the Oregon State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program, using $499,000 in funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Eligible small businesses can apply online, then a specialist follows up to discuss the applicant’s export interests and review possible strategies.
Other resources, such as training provided by a small business development center or relevant seminars organized by the Portland District office of the U.S. Export Assistance Center, may be included as a customized export plan is developed. In some cases, we can help bring together several Oregon companies wishing to share exhibit space or join forces in other ways at a given show. The global strategies team also follows up after six and 12 months to gather any further sales information.
In the first year of the additional STEP funding, 77 Oregon companies participated in the program at 59 trade shows, resulting in an estimated $2 million in new export sales. The companies report expected future sales of more than $12.6 million in 2013.
One great example of how the program can work to grow revenues for Oregon small businesses is Tigard-based PowerHammer, which manufactures pneumatically-operated, single-blow impact hammers for use in foundries. The company used a matching grant last May to attend the Metal & Metallurgy trade show in Beijing. Their appearance at the show immediately led to a $120,000 sale, and within six months the company had realized an additional $260,000 in sales.
Exports remain the cornerstone of Oregon’s economy. Our highly skilled workforce produces high-quality goods sought by customers around the world. Here at Business Oregon, one of our most important jobs is to help those Oregon companies find those markets and thrive.
Tim McCabe is the director of Business Oregon. Visit Oregon4biz.com for more information.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Mike Morrow and Mike Delos-Reyes first came up with the idea of an ocean power device 23 years ago, when they were students at Oregon State University. They realized a long-held vision last summer, when their startup, M3 Wave, successfully launched the first ocean power device that works underwater.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
As part of our green workplaces story, Oregon Business checked out a community service project undertaken by Portland Youth Builders, a nonprofit alternative high school. In partnership with Whole Foods, PYB built garden boxes for a Home Forward housing site. Home Forward is a government agency that provides housing for low income residents and people with disabilities.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY EMILY LIEDEL
Inside the topsy-turvy world of corporate sustainability rankings.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.
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