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Exporting is topic of planned Southwestern Illinois virtual roundtable

The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at SIUE and the Southwestern Illinois Trade & Investment Council will host a “Virtual Roundtable Series: Growing your Business through Exports,” featuring advice from successful business leaders.

The event will be 11 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Sept. 24, available by computer or phone. Registration is due Monday, Sept. 21, and there will be a limit of 20 participants from Southern Illinois.

Craig Eversmann, president of MSSC, a Collinsville exporter, will discuss the techniques that have allowed his company to thrive. He is president of the Southwest Illinois Trade and Investment Council.

Tom Dustman, with 25-plus years of experience in export activities, will also provide some thoughts.

Participants will also hear the latest on the state’s ISTEP program (the State Trade and Export Promotion program, which provides Illinois’ small businesses with both financial and technical assistance to increase their exports). The federal CARES Act supplemental funds will also be discussed.

“The overall well-being of Southern Illinois depends on the present health and future growth of exporting and foreign direct investment,” Eversmann said in a letter of invitation. “I have encountered great success in enhancing profits by developing sales channels in foreign markets. MSSC supplies industrial ink jet printers for coding, as well as products for marking, sealing, and stenciling, to more than 250 distributors worldwide.”

Eversmann said MSSC received assistance from the state’s Trade and Investment Office, the International Trade Center at SIUE and through his participation in the SWIL Trade and Investment Council.

“These resources have had an ongoing positive impact on my company’s success in the global marketplace,” he said.

In 2019 MSSC made a trade mission to Chile and Peru, organized by the ITC, with the financial assistance of the Illinois Trade and Investment office through its ISTEP program.

“During this trade mission we identified two new distributors, one in Santiago, Chile, and the other in Lima, Peru. By adding these two new distributors and markets MSSC did business in 57 countries in 2019,” Eversmann said.

“Most recently, we received funding support through the State of Illinois to recertify our Tape Dispenser to the new UL safety specification effective 2020. This will allow us to enter the European market with the product. In addition, we received funding to revamp our website and create a UK website which will make MSSC appear local to the UK market. The UK hosted website is a first for MSSC and it will allow us to expand this concept in other foreign markets, Brazil and Mexico for example, in the coming years,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented disruption to the global economy and world trade, as production and consumption are scaled back across the globe.

“My business, along with so many others in the region who depend on foreign customers to flourish, need help to survive and continue to be profitable during these trying times,” he said.

The upcoming Zoom call is designed to allow participants to better understand new programs within the context of their own business needs.

The event is free, but registration is required in advance. Registration can be done via this link or via email:

Participants will receive a confirmation with a link to join the webinar.

For more information contact Silvia Torres Bowman, director of the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center, at

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