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Jan. 22, 2013

Linking Michigan businesses to export opportunities

A new Michigan State University project will connect Michigan’s small and medium-size businesses to export markets in Canada and beyond.

The MSU Center for Community and Economic Development launched the new phase of its Regional Exporting Strategies project this month. The group will partner with regional planning agencies to help businesses in three distressed areas of Michigan: the Thumb and Saginaw Bay region, the I-69 International Trade Corridor and the eastern Upper Peninsula.

Researchers from CCED wrapped up an earlier phase of the project in December, having found that many business owners want to build their export capacity but are unaware of the state and federal resources available to help them do so.

This year CCED will collaborate with public agencies and companies in Ontario, leverage the existing exporting infrastructure in each region and visit small businesses to help them identify export opportunities, among other priorities.

The project is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and will run through 2013. CCED representatives will present their findings at two binational conferences that will bring together researchers and economic developers from the U.S. and Canada at the end of the year.

By: Andy McGlashen