A Message from the SBEA Chair

If you’ve read a newspaper or visited the White House Web site in the last few weeks, you’ve seen that exporting is big business. We at the Small Business Exporters Association (SBEA) are committed to raising the profile of, and level the playing field for, small business exporters.

Celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, SBEA has been the nation’s chief advocate on all issues affecting small U.S. exporters.  SBEA’s anniversary is an opportunity to thank the individuals that have lead our organization through the decades to achieve remarkable success – Marty Duggan, our tireless founder, demanded recognition of small-business exporters within federal programs; Dr. James Morrison, followed, making remarkable strides in legislation that would directly modify federal programs to ensure that small-business exporters were made a priority; more recently, Peggy Houlihan, a force within the exporting community, stepped in to transition SBEA and enhance the organization.

Now, through a reinvigorated partnership with NSBA, of which SBEA is a council, we have established a collaborative relationship with the board and staff at NSBA. Through these avenues, SBEA continues to have a very visible presence in Washington, D.C., and impact key exporting issues. In fact, SBEA and its members have recently been mentioned in several high-profile speeches from the administration on the National Exporting Initiative.

Ours has often been an uphill battle, with hard-won successes peppering our fights along the way. Recently, SBEA was instrumental the approval of legislation that requires Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the U.S. to commit 20 percent of their loan authorizations to small business. SBEA also has been a leading advocate for establishing a dedicated small-business representative in U.S. Trade Representative’s office—a position which has recently been filled.

SBEA is the only organization of its kind, representing the issues of small and medium-sized exporters within the halls of Congress and the administration.  In recent months, small-business exporting has gained increased notoriety within the administration and Congress as a critical piece of the puzzle to rebuild the U.S. economy.  SBEA is positioned to use this opportunity for the benefit of raising the federal support of small business to that afforded big business.

In addition to enhancing our influence with lawmakers and regulators, SBEA needs to stay connected with our members. Starting with this April Newsletter, we will be producing monthly SBEA Newsletters which will be e-mailed to all SBEA members. The SBEA Newsletter will include industry updates, intelligence on the latest legislative debates and any other policy news critical to small- and mid-sized exporters.

Your continued support of SBEA is greatly appreciated and helps us continue the push for an exporting arena that is an open and accessible avenue for small firms.  We want to keep you engaged and welcome your input and hope you will find this and subsequent SBEA Newsletters valuable. Please don’t hesitate to contact SBEA staff member Jody Milanese at jmilanese@sbea.org with any questions or comments.



Susan Corrales-Diaz
Chair of SBEA