California and Alaska -- Assistance centers in California and Alaska are among a growing number of programs aimed at helping entrepreneurs get involved in exporting.
Entrepreneurs in California can contact one of 14 Centers for International Trade Development to tap into a wide range of services, including workshops on the basics of exporting as well as assistance with finding buyers, doing business in specific countries, conducting international marketing efforts, and understanding cultural nuances and business practices.
The centers, which are funded by the California Community College Economic Development Network, offer basic services and counseling; each has five to six areas of expertise. For more information, call (800) 344-3812 or visit http://ednet.cc.ca.us
The Alaska Export Assistance Center is operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce and helps entrepreneurs at all stages of export development. Business owners receive assistance in analyzing markets, facilitating meetings, attending trade missions and finding companies to do business with overseas.
In addition to offering general help, the center specializes in exports to Asia and eastern Russia and in the lumber, gas, oil, building, seafood and tourism industries. Most services are free. Call the center at (907) 271-6237 or visit www.alaska.net/~export.