Spokane-area firms looking seriously at exporting products overseas will soon have a new "export readiness center" to assist them.
With a $1.28-million grant from the state Community Economic
Revitalization Board, WSU Spokane will host two such centers; one will be in the Seattle area, the second will likely be in the Sirti building, at the Riverpoint Campus. The grant runs for two years.
Spokane already has the International Trade Alliance, a member-backed effort to increase and encourage export trade for area firms.
Brett Rogers, state director of the Washington Small Business Development Center, said the two agencies will work cooperatively. "We will leverage what they do and they will help us the same way," he said. Some of the training materials that the ITA has will be made available to the export readiness center.
Companies that sign up for the service will receive an assessment of export options and guidance in exporting. Those services are free, said Rogers. The SBDC however does charge for training.
The program focus will be on companies who have not done extensive exporting. As a first step, those client companies will likely be advised to work initially with less-challenging export partners, such as Canada, Japan and Mexico. The export barriers to major markets, like China and India, are larger and take additional levels of sophistication to enter, he said.
For information on the program, call the SBDC operated by WSU Spokane, at 509-358-7767.