(Washington, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray, US Department of Commerce Undersecretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Deputy Associate Administrator for International Trade Luz Hopewell today announced the launch of ExportDC, the District’s first major export-development program for DC businesses.
Noting that 95 percent of the world’s customers are outside the United States and that exporting companies pay wages 13 to 18 percent higher than non-exporting companies, Mayor Gray said that ExportDC is an important part of his strategy to grow the District’s economy and get DC residents back to work.
“One of my top priorities in office has been to foster economic development and job creation across the District,” Mayor Gray said. “The District of Columbia is a world-class city, and my administration, in partnership with the US Small Business Administration and the US Department of Commerce, will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with DC businesses as they compete globally and create good, high-paying jobs here at home.”
ExportDC is the District’s first major export-readiness-and-development program for DC businesses. Through training, targeted service provision, trade mission support, and business opportunity identification, ExportDC will help build the export capacity of DC firms and ensure that they are positioned to compete globally. The program’s specific outcomes include increasing the number of DC businesses that export and the dollar volume of exports from DC businesses, as well as opening a number of new markets for DC businesses.
“ExportDC is part of my vision to transform the business environment in the District,” said DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) Director Harold Pettigrew. “This exciting partnership is the first of many to come, and we thank our federal and local partners for their support as the District embarks on its first major export-development program.”
“The US Department of Commerce is committed to the success of American businesses across the country, world, and right here at home,” said Commerce Undersecretary Sanchez. “Mayor Gray's leadership in this area supports the President's goal of doubling US exports by the end of 2014, and foreshadows the District's continued success as one of the most dynamic economies in the country.”
“Mayor Gray is to be commended for the energy and commitment with which his administration has launched this program,” said SBA Deputy Associate Administrator Hopewell. “The US Small Business Administration is excited to partner with the District of Columbia to foster export readiness and development among DC businesses.”
ExportDC is funded by the District of Columbia and the SBA’s State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant. The STEP program builds on President Obama’s National Export Initiative and supports the President’s goal of doubling US exports by 2015. DSLBD is partnering with the US Commercial Service to provide technical assistance in support of ExportDC.
For more information on ExportDC, please visit: http://dslbd.dc.gov/ExportDC.