Over the past decade, the ups and downs of the economy have crippled the performance of many small businesses. Yet while our community lost many jobs, some local businesses not only survived the economic downturn, but thrived. Companies that were forced to shut their doors during these hard times are asking, “How is that possible?” The answer is simple: they entered the global marketplace.
The entire global economy is worth S77.6 trillion, which is more than four times the value of the U.S. economy. Companies who go global not only get to tap into the huge global economy, they also increase their exposure to potential customers. More than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is outside the U.S. Clearly there is far greater opportunity to find new customers in foreign countries than in the U.S.
When Kansas companies sell (export) their products and services to new markets around the world, like Canada and Mexico, they are not giving away American jobs- In fact, they are sustaining and creating new jobs for Americans. Exporting provides the opportunity for businesses to grow in our stagnate economy by providing more market and more money. In the Wichita region alone, exports account for 25 cents of every dollar in our economy.
Companies who export their products grow at much faster rates and pay higher wages compared to companies that only sell within the states. However, according to the US government / trade.gov, less than one percent of America’s 30 million companies export. The primary reason companies choose not to explore global markets is due to fear and uncertainty.
On the other hand, those who export know that selling internationally mitigates risk by selling to multiple economies. If one country’s economy crashes, another country’s economy may still be booming, allowing the business to stay afloat for another fiscal year. To benefit the Wichita region, our regional export ecosystem provides direct access to experts who take the fear out of exporting by assisting and educating companies.
Exports are one of the few options we have. Exports are key to U.S. competitiveness and represent the best solution for Kansas companies to grow in this sluggish economy. Kansas Global, a private company who promotes and supports international trade, is collaborating with leading organizations in Kansas to continue building an ecosystem of export support for Kansas companies.