International Trade Center

Big reach for your small business.

Cargo Ship

A diverse range of industrial, agricultural and consumer products are exported from our state each year (over $59.76 billion in 2016), making international trade a significant portion of the Illinois economy. The International Trade Center (ITC) can provide support in evaluating a company’s readiness to export, shipping and logistics, compliance regulations, international business planning, and much more.

If you have a business or venture that is looking to pursue international trade opportunities, the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC’s certified International Trade Specialist is uniquely qualified to provide a wide range of assistance in all aspects of international trade and export assistance. From in-depth advice on international trade techniques to export processes and international market opportunities, the SBDC can play an advisory role at no cost.

Contact one of our trusted advisors today and find out how the SBDC can help you think globally!

Why export?
  • Exporting is a great way to increase sales and competitiveness, sustain and create new jobs, and utilize full capacity of manufacturing facilities.
  • In 2010, small businesses accounted for 34 percent of the overall value of U.S. exports.
  • U.S. goods & services are the gold standard of innovation, quality and safety abroad.
  • Foreign demand is growing. Reduce dependence on domestic markets & stabilize season markets and sales fluctuations.
  • 95 percent of potential customers live outside the U.S.
  • Most foreign markets are growing 4-10 percent each year.
  • President’s Export Initiative – take advantage of the government resources available to help you become a successful exporter – from finding compatible markets to financing your exporting programs.
10 Best Practices of Exporting

1 – Management commitment to the challenges and rewards of selling and shipping globally.

2 – Define your export market in terms of what is to be bought, precisely by whom, and why.

3 – Concentrate all available resources on two or three products or objectives within a given time period.

4 – Obtain the best information through your own industry.

5 – Write down your business plan and work from it.

6 – Walk on two legs. Pick a good freight forwarder to walk alongside your international banker.

7 – Translate your literature into the language of each country in which you will do business.

8 – Use the free services of the International Trade Center at your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

9 – Limit the effects of your inevitable mistakes by starting slowly.

10 – Communicate frequently and well with your international contacts, and visit the overseas markets.