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Roundtable talk to focus on new exporting incentives in Southern Illinois

Small businesses in Southern Illinois are invited to participate in the third in a series of free Virtual Roundtable talks regarding exporting and reaching international buyers.

“ISTEP & CARES Act Funds: Testimonials and Success Stories. A Virtual Conversation with Southern Illinois Businesses,” will be held by the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at SIUE and the Southwestern Illinois Trade & Investment Council from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, Dec. 10.

Participants will hear testimonials from successful small-business exporters that have benefited from both funding programs for a variety of business needs, including Craig Eversmann, president of MSSC, a Collinsville-based manufacturer and president of the trade and investment council.

The Virtual Roundtable will be moderated by Tom Dustman, who has more than 25 years of experience in export activities.

Businesses may be eligible to receive up to $27,000 per year to help start or increase exports. The Illinois State Trade and Export Promotion Program (ISTEP) has been providing financial support to Illinois small businesses and ITC clients for more than a decade. The upcoming talk will feature successful exporters that used their ISTEP funds for a variety of business needs: participation in international trade shows and missions (in-person and virtual), website translation and globalization, product compliance, virtual matchmakings, global distributor/agent searches and a range of other activities.

Because of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress, there is financial assistance available to companies. There is additional support from the local Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at SIUE.  The help includes:

–          Increasing your capacity and capability to produce products for exporting

–          Providing strategic connections with domestic and international trade and industry experts to help you secure end-users, distributors, agents and partners

–          Equipping you to manage your logistics and reporting activities

–          Helping you hone your exporting marketing strategy

–          Enabling you to scale your business for global success

–          Fueling your ability to access relevant metrics from reliable data sources

–          Receive one-on-one actionable expertise from consultants and mentors with decades of exporting experience

There is no fee to attend but registration is required at this link. You will receive a confirmation message with a personal connection link.

Registration deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 8. Be part of the discussion, or feel free to listen and absorb.  For more information contact the center at

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