The Export Growth of Small and Medium-Size Businesses

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the fastest-growing segment of U.S. exporting companies — making up a whopping 72 percent of all U.S. exporters — are companies with 20 or fewer employees. So, unlike the pattern of the past, size is no longer a requirement for international success in global markets.

In addition, according to recently released U.S. Census Bureau export statistics for 2007 and 2008:
  • A total of 281,668 small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) — defined as companies with fewer than 500 workers — exported from the U.S. in 2008, accounting for 97 percent of all U.S. exporters. This is an increase of 7.5 percent from 2007.
  • The known export revenue of SMEs rose to $359.7 billion in 2008, up 14.5 percent from 2007. SMEs were responsible for 31.3 percent of goods exported in 2008.
Small Businesses’ Potential Yet to Be Tapped
Small Businesses’ Potential Yet to Be Tapped Small Businesses’ Potential Yet to Be Tapped

How you can take advantage of the new export opportunities SMEs are reshaping the new world economy, and resources and programs are expanding to help SMEs drive export growth, including the FedEx alliance with the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS). Working together, FedEx and the USCS take the time to understand individual business needs and to recommend and help implement strategies unique to the particular business. You can contact a USCS trade specialist at 1.800.USATRADE ext. 30003 or click here.

And for information about the new U.S. government–sponsored National Export Initiative (NEI) program geared expressly for small and medium-size businesses interested in exporting, click here.

And, according to U.S. Department of Commerce April 2010 statistics, export growth is on the rise:
  • U.S. goods and services exports in the first two months of 2010 were up 14.8 percent to $286.1 billion from the $249.2 billion in exports in the first two months of 2009.
  • The two largest export markets for U.S. manufactured goods are our NAFTA partners, Canada and Mexico. In the first two months of 2010, the U.S. exported $31.5 billion in manufactured goods to Canada and $20.7 billion to Mexico.
To find out how you can benefit from NAFTA, and how FedEx can help you get started shipping to Canada and Mexico, check out our NAFTA cross-border solutions site.
Small Businesses’ Potential Yet to Be TappedSmall Businesses’ Potential Yet to Be Tapped

"Given the specter of a jobless economic recovery and lagging consumer spending, exporting may be one of the few areas remaining where small businesses can grow right now."

~ Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Administration