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Trade Center at SIUE conducting export needs survey

The Southwestern Illinois Trade and Investment Council, in collaboration with the International Trade Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is conducting its annual Export Needs Assessment Survey for the region.

The International Trade Center at SIUE, in collaboration with The Southwestern Illinois Trade and Investment Council, is conducting its 2020 Export Needs Assessment Survey for the region.

Seeking to capture direct feedback regarding business practices, challenges and most critical needs, exporters of goods and manufactured products from the southern region are invited to share their views. Service based businesses as well as training and education providers are also encouraged to participate in the survey, said Silvia Torres Bowman, director of the trade center.

Again this year, Survey Monkey will be used for the completion of the needs assessment. The survey can be found here and should be filled out by Feb. 21.

“The export community in our region is diverse, representing businesses of various sizes and from various sectors. However, there is currently a lack of first-hand data available regarding the practices and needs of exporters of goods and services in southern Illinois.  This is why we need your input.  What opportunities and challenges you face with regard to your international activities? What areas do we need to improve to enable more businesses to become successful exporters?” Torres Bowman said in a letter to the regional business community.

“One very important goal of this survey is to measure your interest and hear your choices for participation in our 2020 Southern Illinois Trade Mission. Preparations will be underway soon and we need your feedback.  Trade missions are about opening doors for businesses and entrepreneurs and developing long-term opportunities in foreign markets,” she said.

In March of 2019, the ITC led its second trade mission to Chile and Peru, with the support of funding agencies and the Trade Council.

“As a result of this trip, I am happy to report that on Dec. 3, a partnership agreement was signed between the ITC and the Universidad de Lima, a prestigious South American university, to develop various initiatives in support of small businesses and to connect entrepreneurs from Peru and Illinois,” she said.

That partnership was detailed in an Illinois Business Journal report.

“A separate partnership with Chile is underway. We are looking forward to organizing our third Trade Mission that will be designed based on your input, putting regional businesses in front of new international customers and partners.,” the director said.

Businesses will have the opportunity to make their own selections regarding specific international trade shows to attend or to exhibit.

“Keep in mind that these shows (and our 2020 Southern Illinois Trade Mission) could qualify for the Illinois State Trade Export Promotion (ISTEP) financial funding offered to small and medium-sized exporters. Businesses can be awarded up to $7,500 in travel cost reimbursements,” she said in the letter.

For complete details, visit site:

You can also access the survey via our website at under “Export Needs Assessment Survey.” All responses collected will be strictly confidential and will only be shared in aggregate form.

Contact the, (618) 650-3851 or by visiting


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