International Trade Center

Big reach for your small business.

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The International Trade Center of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC provides in-depth personalized assistance in all aspects of international trade at no cost to your company. We work with companies that are considering exporting, new exporters finding challenges working through the export process, and seasoned exporters increasing their international market presence.

*Assistance is available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

Exporting Services

  • Export readiness assessment
  • International business planning: product preparation, market analysis, logistics, documentation, financial analysis, compliance and legal considerations.
  • International market intelligence: identify potential export markets, assess targeted markets, find foreign buyers and distributors in the selected markets.
  • Global supply chain management
  • Export funding resources
  • International payment methods
  • Export compliance
  • Assistance with foreign customs
  • International B2B/B2C eCommerce
  • Export seminars, forums, workshops, and in-house training
  • Opportunities to attend foreign trade missions & international trade shows

To address other exporting needs, we work in partnership with agencies like the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Commercial Service, Export-Import Bank, and Illinois Office of Trade and Investment, among others.

Why Export

  • Demand: More than 96% of the world’s consumers are outside of the United States. Your competitors are increasing their global market share, and you can too.
  • Access: Exporting doesn’t have to be complex, especially for small businesses. The internet, improved logistics channels, free trade agreements, eCommerce, and the array of available export assistance through the International Trade Center – Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC and its federal and state partners has made exporting more achievable; that’s true for even the smallest businesses.
  • Profitability: Exporting can be profitable for businesses of all sizes. On average, sales grow faster, more jobs are created, and employees earn more than in non-exporting firms.
  • Competitive Advantage: The United States is known worldwide for high quality, innovative goods and services, customer service, and sound business practices.
  • Risk Mitigation: Most companies that export have an easier time riding out fluctuations in the U.S. economy, and are more likely to stay in business.
  • Export Resources: U.S. companies can benefit from U.S. government resources and their federal, state, and local partners. One of those resources is our International Trade Center, which can offer you no-cost specialized assistance and training in any export and import area. We can also connect you with export promotion agencies such as the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment and the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which has regional and country-specialized experts and a global network of offices in multiple countries. Our International Trade Center can also put you in touch with key resources such as export financing through the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

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.