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Export Roaring Fork Valley

Jun 19, 2013

Exporting to-do list.
Credit Creative Commons

Small businesses in the Roaring Fork Valley should consider exporting their goods and services as a way to expand their customer base.  That is the message of a workshop organized by Colorado Senator Michael Bennet later today in Glenwood Springs.  Bennett’s office is bringing federal and state export representatives to help local business owners in the process of selling overseas.  Aspen Public Radio’s Roger Adams has more.

Since January, Senator Bennet’s staff has hosted seven export workshops around the state called, Beyond Colorado.  Today in Glenwood Springs, they are partnered with the Roaring Fork Business Resource Center.  Randi Lowenthal, the center’s CEO, says exporting can seem improbable in rural areas.

“Lots of people, particularly in rural areas, think that means products and people in urban areas and it couldn’t be further from the truth.”

"It's a lot easier than it may initially appear."

Exporting she says is not just for manufactured widgets or for businesses in large coastal cities.  Increasingly, US exports are coming from landlocked states like Colorado and services like consulting or design are what other countries are seeking.  Kristin Lynch is Senator Bennet’s Press Secretary.

“It’s a lot easier than it may initially appear.”

That she says is because there are so many resources available to help small and medium businesses navigate everything from market research to licensing.  The workshop will include speakers from Colorado’s Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the World Trade Center Denver.  Many types of businesses could benefit says Lynch.

“Where do you start?  What do I need to be aware of?  How do I do market research?  These workshops are really a way to convene all the experts that work on these issues and help them kind of give their feedback and their advice.”

Attendees already signed up include a range from farmers and small manufacturers to artists and writers.  Colorado ranked 35th among the states for exports last year.  The workshop will be held at CMC’s Glenwood Center. 

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