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October 7, 2002
  Contact: Heather Layman
(202) 482-3809

Speaker Hastert and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Maria Cino
Co-present Export Achievement Award to Local Businesses

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert and Maria Cino, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the U.S. Commercial Service, today presented Tour Edge Golf Manufacturing and United Laboratories, both of St. Charles, Illinois, with the U.S. Commerce Department's Export Achievement Certificate. The award recognizes business clients of the Department's Commercial Service that have benefited from its services to make their first export sale or open new foreign markets. The awards were presented at an International Trade Business Forum in Elgin.

"International trade is a vital part of economic growth," said Hastert. "Exporting is a principal way for companies to increase sales, expand their business and create jobs for the people of Illinois. Tour Edge Golf Manufacturing and United Laboratories are two outstanding examples of how small businesses can work with government to take advantage of international opportunities. I'm proud to recognize these two Illinois companies today and am honored to have them located in my congressional district."

"Most of the jobs in America are created by small businesses," Cino said. "Small and medium-sized companies like those in the greater Chicago area comprise almost 97 percent of U.S. exporters. The Bush Administration will continue to work hard to help U.S. firms increase their exports and generate high-paying jobs for the working people of Illinois. I commend Speaker Hastert for his efforts in helping highlight the link between exporting and economic growth through this trade forum and presentation."

Tour Edge Golf Manufacturing, a small business, is a producer and distributor of high quality golf clubs marketed to the finest green-grass locations and largest discount golf shops. A client of the Department's U.S. Export Assistance Center in Highland Park, Tour Edge recently made a $1.5 million sale to Japan, and has made initial sales to customers in Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, South Africa, and Thailand.

United Laboratories is a small, employee-owned manufacturer of maintenance products, including drain-cleaning chemicals, floor finishes, glass cleaners, descalers, lubricants, wastewater treatments, and other items. Also, a client of the local U.S. Export Assistant Center, United Laboratories has benefited from export counseling and the Department's Gold Key Service that provides for pre-arranged business meetings with possible business partners. The firm has since made over $80,000 in sales to Hong Kong and Singapore, and has also garnered additional sales through a distributor met through the Commercial Service.

The U.S. Export Assistance Centers in Chicago, Highland Park, Peoria, and Rockford are part of the global network of the U.S. Commercial Service, a Commerce Department agency that helps small and medium-sized U.S. businesses sell their products and services globally.

For more information on the U.S. Commercial Service, please visit www.buyusa.com.
Or call the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Chicago at 312-353-8040.

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