May 11, 2016
By Bob Coleman
Editor, C-Suite Wednesday
C-Suite Wednesday — 67% of U.S. Small Biz Exporters Demand Payment Up Front
Is one of the results of NSBA’s 2016 small business exporting survey.
“Global market volatilities and a strong U.S. dollar have contributed to a slowdown in export activity among small firms,” says NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “Today, just 39 percent of SMEs reported increases to their total export volume, down from 52 percent in 2013.”
The number one challenge facing current SMEs is getting paid which, coupled with turbulent foreign markets, led to an increase in the number of SMEs that reported utilizing Ex-Im Bank products, despite a program shutdown in the past year. Not surprising, two-thirds of SMEs only ship their product/services upon payment in full.
When it comes to free trade agreements, SMEs report broad benefits, including access to new foreign markets and opportunities to expand existing export operations. Just five percent of SMEs report actually being hurt by FTAs, and a majority say they are more likely to enter a new market if it is covered under an FTA with the U.S.
“The top concern among non-exporting small firms is a lack of knowledge and how to get started,” says Livingston International CEO Steve Preston. “Unfortunately, more and more SMEs today report they handle the bulk of their exporting activities without the help of external resources that could ease the process greatly.”