WV Businesses Should Increase Exports Says U.S. Export Assistance Center

November 29, 2016

The majority of U.S. exporters are small businesses, and those small businesses that export tend to grow faster, pay higher wages, and hire more quickly, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Diego Gattesco, a senior international trade specialist and director for the U.S. Commercial Service, International Trade Administration, encourages West Virginia businesses to become a part of the positive economic growth by expanding exports.

Gattesco, who manages the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Wheeling, W.Va., discussed Exports and the WV Economy with local business and community leaders at the annual Eastern Panhandle Economic Outlook Conference this month. Small to medium-sized businesses often don't export as much as they could, but exporting can help to increase sales and profits, minimize the effect of seasonal sale fluctuations, and achieve economies of scale.

Some highlights that West Virginia exports provide for the economy include:

  • 30,458 U.S. jobs were supported by goods exported from West Virginia in 2015, and 64 percent of those jobs were supported by manufactured goods
  • Exports from West Virginia contributed $5.8 billion to the $2.2 trillion of U.S. goods and services exported in 2015.
  • A total of 1,098 companies exported from West Virginia locations in 2014, of which 834 were small and medium-sized goods exporters.
  • Small and medium-sized goods exporters accounted for 76 percent of West Virginia exporters and 46 percent of known West Virginia goods export value. 

The U.S. Export Assistance Center located in Wheeling, W.Va., provides counseling and a variety of products and services to assist small and mid-sized U.S. businesses export their products and services. Some of the services include trade missions, matchmaking appointments, and customized market research. For more information, visit www.export.gov


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