Made in Rural America workshop series starts July 26

Made in Rural America workshop series starts July 26

Goal is to help American businesses increase exports.

The White House Rural Council (WHRC), has announced a workshop series to provide targeted assistance for rural small businesses working to grow demand through international sales.

The White House Rural Council has announced a workshop series to provide targeted assistance for rural small businesses working to grow demand through international sales. (Photo: Ron Chapple Stock/Thinkstock)

The workshops are part of the Made in Rural America export and investment initiative, launched by the Obama Administration in Feb. 2014, to help American businesses increase exports from rural areas by connecting companies with resources, expertise, counseling and technical assistance. The WHRC coordinates the program with participation from the Department of Commerce, the Department of Agriculture, the Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Postal Service and other agencies.

When are the workshops?

The free series includes at least 60 Made in Rural America small business export workshops hosted by the U.S. Postal Service in 24 states July 26 to Aug. 31, 2016. Topics include: international shipping and mailing, international marketing assistance, rural business development and related topics.

To find a Made in Rural American workshop, visit usps.com/events. The site will be updated as details for each workshop become available and additional workshops are added.

Do exports really matter?

Census data from 2009 to 2014, the latest available, shows that the ranks of U.S. goods exporters rose from 277,000 to 304,000-and 98% of those companies were small and medium-sized firms. U.S. exports reached $2.26 trillion in 2015, up by $678 billion from 2009, and supported 1.9 million more jobs during the period.

U.S. agricultural exports alone supported more than 1 million American jobs both on and off the farm, a substantial part of the estimated 11.5 million jobs supported by exports all across our country. The past seven years have represented the strongest period in history for American agricultural exports, with international sales of U.S. farm and food products totaling $911.4 billion between fiscal years 2009 and 2015. In fiscal year 2015, American farmers and ranchers exported $139.7 billion of food and agricultural goods to consumers worldwide.

Where can you find more information?

Online tools designed for rural businesses interested in international exports include http://www.export.gov/rural and http://www.business.usa.gov.

Source: USDA
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