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Understand Local Resources and Assistance
Consider the wide range of free or low-cost local export assistance services.

Understand Local Resources and Assistance

Understand Local Resources and Assistance

No matter where your business is located in the United States, you have access to a range of local export assistance. Exporting U.S.-produced goods and services is great business – and great for jobs and the economy as well. That is why there are so many public and private resources available to help you. Most of these services are free or low-cost.


U.S. Commercial Service Office

With more than 100 offices nationwide, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service (CS) leads the community of local export assistance providers and helps to bring all available resources together for you. As part of a global network of foreign and domestic offices, CS offers a full range of expertise in international trade. CS’s counseling, market research, and matchmaking services are customized to business needs, and designed, in particular, to help small- and medium-sized businesses.  

District Export Council

The U.S. Commercial Service works closely with local District Export Councils (DECs) made up of trade experts and service providers who volunteer to help U.S. companies develop solid export strategies. DECs assist in many of the workshops and seminars on exporting arranged by the U.S. Commercial Service offices. DEC members may also provide direct, personal counseling to less experienced exporters by suggesting marketing strategies, trade contacts, and ways to maximize success in overseas markets. You can obtain assistance from DECs through the U.S. Commercial Service offices that they are affiliated with. 

Other Federal Resources

In addition to the U.S. Department of Commerce, several other federal agencies provide export assistance in areas such as trade financing and business planning. 

State and Local Government

Most states can provide an array of services to exporters. Many states maintain international offices in major markets; the most common locations are in Western Europe and Japan. Attracting foreign investment and developing tourism are also very important activities of state foreign offices. The State International Development Organization maintains a State Trade Directory. More and more cities and counties are providing these services. The U.S. Commercial Service and State Governments coordinate export promotion strategies each year. And SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) provides financial awards to state and territory governments to assist small businesses with export development. 

A Wide Range of Other Public and Private Partnerships

Chambers of Commerce, World Trade Centers, and many other associations and clubs make the local export assistance community even stronger, with their own services and representing invaluable opportunities for business-to-business networking. The U.S. Commercial Service’s Strategic Partnership Program works with trade associations, private corporations, chambers of commerce, government entities, and other organizations to better communicate with U.S. businesses about global opportunities.