Work worldwide

25 April 2008

In the United States the federal government offers numerous useful resources for companies wishing to conduct business internationally. For many SC&RA members the initial challenge is to identify these resources and how to make the most of them.

That can be tricky. Dan Bumby, SC&RA's recent Golden Achievement Award winner, relates that personnel at his local branch of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in Colorado had been unaware that their own agency offers Export Assistance Centers throughout the nation.

To help our members capitalise on exceptional opportunities in the export marketplace, we will include a special session at the SC&RA Financial Management Seminar, 11-12 October at Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, California, US. This session will provide valuable insight on finance strategies, partnerships and other resources to help ensure your efficiency and success.

Panelists will include:

Peter Ballinger, director of business development for small and medium enterprises, US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Washington, D.C. This government agency helps businesses invest overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports US foreign policy. OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers by charging market-based fees for its products.

Sandra Donzella, senior business development officer, Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, San Diego, California. As the official export credit agency of the United States, Ex-Im Bank fulfills a mission of providing assistance in financing the export of US goods and services to international markets. Rather than competing with private sector lenders, Ex-Im Bank provides products that fill gaps in trade financing and strives to level the playing field for US exporters. About 85% of its transactions directly benefit US small businesses.

Julia Rauner Guerrero, senior trade analyst, US Department of Commerce, San Diego Export Assistance Center, San Diego, California. She is part of a network of export and industry specialists in more than 100 US cities and more than 80 countries. These trade professionals provide counselling and a range of products and services to help small and mid-size US businesses export their products and services. Among her specialities are construction equipment and architectural, construction and engineering services.

Martin Selander, export development regional manager, U.S. Small Business Administration, Export Assistance Center, Newport Beach, California. The centres, in major US metropolitan areas, are promoted as one-stop shops ready to provide small or mid-size business with local export assistance. SBA professionals provide personalised assistance while providing links to experts at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Ex-Im Bank and other public and private organizations.

For some attendees, The Road to the International Marketplace – a Fertile Area for Growth & Profit alone makes registration at the Financial Management Seminar a worthwhile investment. Also at the seminar are other top financial experts covering significant bottom line issues and strategies.

Workshop participants will learn about key considerations when deciding between purchasing or leasing equipment, alternative risk financing, tax planning and asset protection, successfully planning and negotiating terms for transportation and construction contracts, viable financial strategies for specialized companies, adding value to the employer and employee relationship, and offering the best possible benefits at a price that companies can afford.

We believe the upcoming Financial Management Seminar is shaping up to be our best ever. By design, registration will be limited to about 60 participants. This personalised format is designed to help participants build individual financial plans that capitalise on strengths, overcome weaknesses and focus on areas of opportunity. Register online soon at www.scranet.org

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