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For Immediate Release                                                           Contact: Jim Dyke or Curt Cultice
November 5, 2001                                                                              (202)482-4883 or 482-3809

Commerce Secretary Evans, Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf
Spotlight Importance of Exporting for Virginia Firms

Commerce Secretary Don Evans today joined U.S. Representative of Virginia Frank Wolf in hosting a small business exporting workshop aimed at helping Virginia companies tap into world markets.  Evans also presented local company Excel Holdings, Inc. of Leesburg the U.S. Commercial Service's new Export Achievement Certificate.  The award recognizes companies that have attained their first significant export sales.

Excel Holdings, a minority-owned company, recently made a $35 million dollar sale of its five gallon-a-day Water Finder units to a distributor in Mexico and another large sale to Singapore.  Excel was greatly assisted in this effort by the services of the Commerce Department’s Northern Virginia U.S. Export Assistance Center, which provided export counseling and arranged overseas meetings with key business contacts.  The Export Assistance Center counsels over 350 Northern Virginia firms annually and helped facilitate over $90 million in exports sales in fiscal year 2001.

“Most of the jobs in America are created by small businesses,” Evans said. “Smaller firms represent some of the best in ingenuity and innovation, but have tremendous untapped export potential.  We are giving Virginia companies the tools they need to boost exports that support good, high-wage jobs for the working people.”

“Secretary Evans’ attendance underscores the importance for businesses in our region to explore new trade opportunities worldwide,” Wolf said.  “I am hopeful that the seminar will provide area businesses with the information necessary to consider sending their goods and services abroad.”

Virginia export sales are on the rise, totaling $10.5 billion last year, a jump of nearly 30 percent since 1993.  These exports support tens of thousands of jobs across the Commonwealth.

Excel Holdings is quickly developing a worldwide distribution network for its patented potable water-producing technology.  Working with the University of Maryland's Environmental Engineering Department, Excel Holdings' products can produce up to 5,000 gallons of purified drinking water a day by pulling moisture from the atmosphere. The company produces several different models.

Small and medium-sized businesses like Excel represent almost 97 percent of U.S. exporters and account for the fastest growing segment of the exporter community.  Most of  these businesses employ fewer than 20 employees.

More than 100 area companies representing the hi-tech, environmental and biotech industries attended the workshop and received information on trade regulations, regional market opportunities and financing from Commercial Service and foreign embassy commercial officers.  The workshop was held at Herndon High School.   

      
Secretary Evans joined Rep. Frank Wolf (right) in hosting a small business exporting workshop and presented an Export Achievement Certificate to Hisham Fawzi (center), Chairman and President of Excel Holdings, Inc.                    
                                                                              

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