Visit for Extravaganza of Free Exporter Resources

April 21, 2011
By Michelle Kelley

If you’re a U.S. exporter looking to enhance your company’s trade prospects and overseas market development, make sure you check out

Managed by the International Trade Administration, is an online clearinghouse of information and online resources for export assistance programs and services.

Don’t let the fact that the government designed this site keep you from what it has to offer. Not only is it easy to navigate but its virtually free of the typical bureaucratic verbiage that often plagues government tools for the public.

Here’s just a handful of what this site has to offer:

Research trade leads
Take advantage of the Export Assistance Center’s trade lead database. Search through trade opportunities pre-screened by the U.S. Commercial Service. Search by keyword, country, region, or industry.

Get market info via webinar
Get new market and industry information without leaving your office. Tune into one of the site’s many webinars to learn how to take your international sales to new heights. We like:
Cashing in with Free Trade Agreements
How to identify international markets for your products
Getting your consumer electronics into two hot markets: China and Brazil

Download templates to create your international business plan

If you want to expand into targeted markets and see positive results, it’s a good idea to have include your strategy in your international business plan. Not sure how to get started developing your plan? It’s not a problem with the site’s free international business plan workbook [pdf].

Just download the workbook and fill in answers about your goals, the export potential of your products, your company’s export readiness, etc. to step through each section of your international business plan.

Pinpoint available international financing programs
Many exporters are unaware of the numerous government-sponsored financing programs available to them. A significant number of assistance opportunities are made available exclusively to U.S. small businesses. Head on over to the site’s international financing programs page for more information about (including how to apply):

* indicates programs exclusive to small business exporters

  • loans to cover the initial costs of entering an export market*
  • loans for preexport labor and material costs*
  • loans to finance foreign receivables
  • loans to upgrade facilities and equipment*
  • financing for investment projects in developing and emerging markets