Now more than ever, we encourage you to take advantage of WTC Utah’s grant funding, international matchmaking, webinars and international resources
World Trade Center Utah is grateful for the leadership of Governor Gary R. Herbert, Lieutenant Governor Spencer J. Cox and the many state public health officials that are working to help Utah prudently prepare and respond to COVID-19. As Utahns rally together – while of course maintaining appropriate social distancing – to take proactive measures against COVID-19, WTC Utah is leaning in to provide increased support to the international business community. Our objective is to minimize disruptions caused by the virus so Utah can continue on its path of success and prosperity as we weather the public health and economic storm of COVID-19.
As is abundantly clear, there is major volatility in global markets. With international travel and large gatherings becoming increasingly discouraged, we are witnessing a significant decrease in business activity and a corresponding increase in uncertainty. We are reminded that capital is a coward as it flees to the sidelines in the face of so much uncertainty. The result is whipsaw action in markets and our 401k accounts. While we don’t have any hot stock picks for you, we do have data points that underscore why international trade and investment are important all the time, particularly during a period of economic hardship.
You are all familiar with how important international trade and investment has been to Utah’s economy over the past decade of growth. Here in Utah, international trade now supports nearly one in every four jobs in the state, with small businesses accounting for 85 percent of Utah’s exporters. Last year, international sales added $5 billion in additional revenue for Utah’s small businesses, and Utah’s export growth rate has been the highest in the nation for the past two years. Increasingly, Utah is recognized in the many countries we operate as not just the crossroads of the West, but the crossroads of the World.
Our highly international economy should give us confidence as we face the economic uncertainty ahead: The United States International Trade Commission reported that in 2009, SMEs that exported had more than twice the total revenue of their non-exporting counterparts. These exporters had revenue growth of 37 percent between 2005 and 2009, while total revenue declined by 7 percent for nonexporting SMEs over the same period. This is great news for all of us, including the 3,500+ Utah SMEs that export.
In short: International trade and investment are some of the most powerful ways to immunize Utah businesses from the economic effects of COVID-19.
We invite you to join World Trade Center Utah in supporting Utah businesses during this challenging time. If you are a business engaging in international trade or investment, review the resources below and take advantage of the support WTC Utah can provide. If you are a service provider, reach out so that we can share your expertise with businesses that need them through webinars and one-on-one introductions. And if you are a civic or government leader, please share these resources with your network and constituents so we can collectively support businesses across the state.
WTC Utah is recalibrating its programming to provide Utah businesses with the tools and resources necessary to continue to compete and win here at home and around the world as we all press forward in these uncertain times. We strongly encourage Utah businesses to review these resources and to engage where appropriate to:
- Apply for Grant Funding: WTC Utah is working with our grant partners to ensure that we have sufficient resources to support Utah’s small businesses as they adjust to COVID-19. You don’t have to travel internationally to qualify for grant funding to maintain and grow your international sales even while adapting to COVID-19. Eligible Utah companies can apply funds to the following activities:
- Fees for shipping sample products
- Cost of compliance testing an existing product for entry into an export market
- Export research tool subscriptions
- Website translation into foreign language, search engine optimization, and localization services
- Design of marketing media
- Export conferences, meetings, symposium or training programs–either live or via webinars
- Click here to learn more and apply for a grant through WTC Utah.
- Receive Subsidized Federal Disaster Loans: The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Thanks to Governor Gary R. Herbert’s leadership, all 29 counties in Utah are now eligible for emergency SBA loans to help small businesses weather the economic challenges we’re facing. Click here to learn more.
- Schedule One-on-One Consulting Services: WTC Utah can arrange for our Trade Services Manager, Jim Porter, to provide consulting services, including extra services and resources for small rural businesses. Click here for more information.
- Leverage WTC Utah’s Global Network: WTC Utah has hundreds of international partners around the world. We can make an introduction to our current contact or can track down others as necessary wherever you see a market opportunity.
- Discover Global Opportunities: 95% of the world’s population, your potential customers, live outside the United States. WTC Utah’s trade services specialists can help you identify which markets are open for your business and how to pursue international growth opportunities.
- Receive Streamlined Assistance on Relief Provisions: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is announcing relief provisions for exporters and financial institutions located throughout the U.S. that may have been affected by COVID-19. Click here to learn more.
- Continue Business Meetings via Our Video Conference and Webinar Platform: WTC Utah is happy to provide businesses with free access to our video conference platform either one-on-one or in groups of up to 100 so that they can continue to meet face-to-face with anyone in the world.
- Participate in a Virtual Trade Mission with the Saudi Ministry of Investment: As part of the Saudi delegation that recently visited Utah, a senior official with the Saudi Ministry of Investment met with nearly 25 Utah companies to explore market opportunities in Saudi Arabia. While we are disappointed that we had to postpone our April trade mission to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, we are working with our Saudi partners to organize virtual meetings in April so that Utah businesses can continue to pursue trade and investment opportunities there. Keep an eye out for more information.
- Be Aware of International Travel Resources: The State Department has announced that any Americans traveling internationally should register with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program which provides travelers with the latest information on travel to the United States. Click here to learn more.
- Be Prepared for International Screenings Coming Into the US: Upon arrival in the U.S., American travelers will be asked about medical history, current condition and local contact information. They will then be told to continue home and home-quarantine. This applies to anyone who traveled in most European countries anytime in the 14 days prior to arrival in the USA. Click here to learn more.
- Learn about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Announcement (March 13, 2020): President Trump declared an increase in federal support to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in its role as the lead federal agency for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response. As a result, FEMA is directed to assist state, local, tribal, territorial governments and other eligible entities with the health and safety actions they take on behalf of the American public. FEMA actions will be in support of HHS and in coordination with state, tribal and territorial governments.
- Qualify for Agricultural Disaster Benefits: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a primary agricultural disaster designation that includes resources for Kane and San Juan Counties only. Click here to learn more.
- Tune into our upcoming Trade and Investment Online Webinars: During the next few weeks, the WTC Utah team will host webinars featuring local, national and international experts – from their living room to yours. Check your email for updates on the upcoming schedule.