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Series of exporting presentations planned by Southwestern Illinois trade center

The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at SIUE, in partnership with Southwest Illinois Trade and Investment Council and longtime supporter LR International, will kick off its spring series of “EXPORT NOW” presentations, starting on Wednesday, March 24, via Zoom.

Companies are invited to register for “EXPORT NOW: Helping Southern Illinois small businesses grow their sales through exporting.”

Silvia Torres Bowman, director of the center said the region has long been in need of a customized, action-oriented export training program with personalized coaching and consulting sessions.

“CARES Act funding is enabling us to listen to the unique needs of each client and engage in developing a customized strategy to address that client’s specific goals and needs relative to exporting from Southern Illinois to any and all parts of the world,” said Tom Dustman, Sunnen Products Company International sales director, who has more than three decades of exporting experience and is a participating member of the EXPORT Now coaching team.  “Through the presenters, coaches and mentors participating in this export program, there is significant synergy to benefit Southern Illinois exporters. Without this collective experience and expertise, exporters would have to really dig through the brush in order to find their pathway.”

EXPORT NOW consists of three virtual, four-hour sessions scheduled one month apart (March, April and May) with group and customized personal coaching between sessions.

•             Learn the key phases of smart exporting

•             Find out the benefits to exporting

•             Develop a global mindset

•             Absorb how trade has changed due to technology and the global pandemic

•             Discover the most critical thing in exporting

•             Position to win in exporting.

Small businesses in Southern Illinois will be able to take a strategic look at the world and create a plan to expand their business internationally with guidance from industry leaders.

Session 1: International Outlook

Wednesday, March 24

Learn and strategize about the relationship between your company and the world

Session 2: Export and Import 101

Wednesday, April 21

Utilize industry knowledge to create a seamless international process

Session 3: Planning for Success

Wednesday, May 19

Create an export plan for the future of your company and have it audited by industry veterans

Virtual Training via Zoom

9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

(11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. break)

Cost is $900 per company. Multiple export team members from each company are invited to attend.

Scholarships up to $750 per company are available to eligible small businesses from the SOUTHERN Illinois region, potentially bringing the out-of-pocket down to $150 per company. The low cost option will only be available for this spring series, thanks to CARES Act funding.

To apply and pre-register, send an email to with your company name, southern Illinois address, number of employees, website, and contact information for all members of your company who would commit to attend all three sessions.  Once the center has received your email, it will be in touch to review eligibility and complete registration.

Contact or call (618) 650-3851.

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