SBA Encourages Small Businesses to Export Goods, Services

The regional manager of the Small Business Administration’s International Trade Finance Programs is in Alaska encouraging small business owners to consider growing sales by exporting their goods and services. Pru Balatero has worked with the SBA for 30 years and says trade treaties with other nations continue to expand and SBA loan guarantees for helping businesses get started with exporting have increased from 2 million to 5 in the past year under the recovery act. He says boosting loan guarantee maximums are designed to stimulate lending.

Balatero says he was at an export conference in Washington in the spring of 2010, when President Obama showed up and introduced his national export initiative to the group. The President set a goal of doubling the nation’s exports within five years and Balatero says last year the nation saw an increase of 20 percent for exports. He says too many small businesses don’t consider how exporting can help grow their company.

Balatero says the SBA has a free online training course called Take your Business Global with an accompanying text book to help businesses get started in exporting.

Balatero will be speaking tomorrow morning at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage as part of the seminar called Successful Exporting in Today’s Global Economy. The event begins at 9 am.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 24 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori