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EXPORT NOW returns on Aug. 24 through SIUE SBDC International Trade Center

The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at SIUE in partnership with the Southwest IL Trade and Investment Council is bringing back EXPORT NOW 2022: Helping Southern Illinois small businesses grow their sales through exporting.

Following a successful first round in 2021 completed by four graduates, only five small businesses from our southern Illinois region will be selected to participate in this year’s program. Thanks to CARES Act funding and only for this year, EXPORT NOW 2022 will be offered at no cost to the selected participants. The $900 per company scholarships are being fully covered by CARES funds for eligible businesses. Spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Through a partnership with the Trade Council, the National District Export Council, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and several other longtime supporters of the ITC, and with the financial support of CARES Act funds, the International Trade Center will kick off its second series of EXPORT NOW on Wednesday, Aug. 24, via Zoom.

“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. 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,” says Tom Dustman, Sunnen Products Company International Sales Director, with more than three decades of exporting experience, and main facilitator for the EXPORT NOW series.

EXPORT NOW consists of three virtual four-hour sessions with group and customized personal coaching between sessions. During these sessions, participants will:

  • Learn the key phases of smart exporting
  • Find out the benefits of 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

Participating businesses from Southern Illinois will take a strategic look at the world and create a plan to expand their business internationally, with guidance from industry leaders, by:

  • Taking part in workshops and presentations given by industry leaders that will guide participants to a strategic plan
  • Learning about the world and where there may be opportunities for the participant’s company
  • Gaining insight into the processes and requirements of international business
  • Creating a customized strategy that is reviewed by industry experts

Virtual sessions take place via Zoom from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. break) on each of these three dates:

Session 1: International Outlook
Wednesday, Aug. 24
Participants will learn and strategize about the relationship between their company and the world

Session 2: Export and Import 101
Wednesday, Sept. 7
Participants will utilize industry knowledge to create a seamless international process

Session 3: Planning for Success
Wednesday, Sept. 21
With a Shark Tank-style approach, participants will create an export plan for the future of their company and have it audited by industry veterans.

Pre-Registration is required. To apply and pre-register, send an email to with your company name, Illinois address, number of employees, website, and contact information for the representative of your company who would commit to attending all three sessions.

Once your email is received, the SIUE SBDC International Trade Center will be in touch to discuss eligibility, in order to be admitted as a participant in the program. Pre-registration does not guarantee immediate acceptance as an active participant in EXPORT NOW 2022.


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