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Press Release for Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Agencies Launch International Trade Certificate Program

Contact: Cathy Hagan
Florida Small Business Development Center
(904) 620-2478

The Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida, the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT), Beaver Street Enterprise Center and the Small Business Center of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce have partnered to offer a comprehensive new International Trade Certification Program “Export Series” for Jacksonville’s small businesses.

“The prospect for Jacksonville companies to participate in international trade is greater now than ever, particularly as we grow the number of countries and markets reached directly from JAXPORT,” said Roy Schleicher, JAXPORT’s senior director of Trade Development and Marketing. “We’re excited about helping local small and mid-size businesses tap into a program that will ultimately lead to new customers all over the world.”

The certificate program, developed by the Florida Small Business Development Center, is designed for existing small, growth-oriented businesses in Northeast Florida that are serious about exploring international markets for exporting products and services. Attendees will learn the steps to become competent in marketing, documentation, monetary and legal matters required of exporters.

All small businesses are invited to attend a free orientation to learn more about the program from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, at Beaver Street Enterprise Center, Jacksonville’s only core-city business incubator. At the initial orientation, applicants will receive an assessment form to gauge their readiness to export. Businesses that are assessed “export-ready” will be invited to attend a more detailed follow-up meeting.

Classes will be facilitated by Cathy Hagan, certified business analyst and area director of the Small Business Development Center at UNF. The curriculum is based on the textbook “The Global Entrepreneur.” Classes will be held at JAXPORT headquarters on Talleyrand Avenue every Monday night from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., beginning Monday, Jan. 28, through Monday, March 3, 2008. Dinner is served during each class and the program cost is a one-time fee of $295.

Once businesses have completed the program, they will be ready to work with Jorge Arce, Jacksonville’s director of the U.S. Export Assistance Center, a division of the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The U.S. Commercial Service has a worldwide network of 165 offices in more than 80 countries that provide access to market research and industry contacts in those countries’ markets.

For more information about the program, including enrollment details, please call Cathy Hagan at (904) 620-2478 or email