SBEA, NSBA Releases New Exporting Data

According to a recent survey, nearly half of small-business respondents said they would consider exporting their goods or services if the most significant challenges and barriers were addressed. The National Small Business Association (NSBA) and Small Business Exporters Association (SBEA)—a council of NSBA—today released the 2010 Small Business Exporting Survey on the state of exporting for America’s small-business owners.


“Given the specter of a jobless economic recovery and lagging consumer spending,” stated Todd McCracken, president of NSBA, “Exporting may be one of the few areas remaining where small businesses can grow right now.”

The 2010 Small Business Exporting Survey, conducted March 1 through March 5, 2010 among 250 exporting and non-exporting members of NSBA and SBEA, shows that, among small-business respondents not currently exporting, the largest barrier is a perceived lack of exportable products and services. Thirty-eight percent of non-exporters said they don’t know enough about exporting and aren’t sure where to start, and 28 percent cited concerns over getting paid from a foreign customer. When asked whether they would be interested in exporting if some of these concerns were addressed, 43 percent said they would. Among current exporters, the chief concerns include their ability to get paid, and the complexity associated with exporting.


Underscoring the need for better assistance—both technical and financial—the majority of small exporters rely on earnings and savings of their business to finance exporting, not bank loans or government-backed programs. Furthermore, 96 percent of small exporters handle exporting operations within the company rather than use an external export management company.


The economic difficulties over the past two years, coupled with ongoing outsourcing, have put small businesses at a distinct disadvantage in the global economy. NSBA and SBEA have been urging for years that more must be done to emphasize the needs of small business within the scope of U.S. trade, and applauds the recent announcements by President Barack Obama and his administration to enhance exporting opportunities for small U.S. companies through the National Export Initiative.


“Today, though small-business exports represent less than five percent of the GDP, with aggressive support from the U.S. government, this contribution could be significantly increased,” stated said SBEA Board Chair Susan Corrales-Diaz, president of California-based Systems Integrated.


Since 1937, NSBA has advocated on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs, and is proud to partner with SBEA, the nation’s chief advocate on all issues affecting small U.S. exporters. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, SBEA has been working to raise the profile and level the playing field for small-business exporters. Collectively, NSBA and SBEA reach more than 150,000 small businesses nationwide. Two staunchly nonpartisan organizations, our members are as diverse as the economy they fuel. To learn more, please visit SBEA and NSBA.