On August 9th, BankProv and Middleton & Shrull addressed the members of the North Shore Chamber to encourage businesses to partner with their bank, and their attorney, to maneuver the complex financing and compliance issues surrounding exporting.
Leanne Spees, SVP, International Finance Officer at BankProv, took the stage to encourage businesses to take advantage of the numerous resources available to assist them, whether they are looking to finance their first export venture, acquire additional financing for their current export operation, or just need to be pointed in the right direction if they have questions.
Two BankProv partners were in attendance to answer questions and provide additional support for key export programs.
Paul Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, explained the center’s new Export Compliance Fund that was launched last month to help small businesses seeking to both understand U.S. export regulations and to develop and implement protocols that ensure compliance.
“It is important to us that small businesses have the support they need to maneuver the complex regulations that go along with exporting to other countries,” explains Murphy. “We partnered with BankProv to develop the Export Compliance Fund, which is an indirect grant fund to help small businesses in Massachusetts comply with federal export regulations.”
Michelle Ouellette, Senior International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce, also present at the breakfast, talked about how the U.S. Department of Commerce can act as a resource for businesses interested in exporting.
“The U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service exists to support economic growth, including helping U.S. businesses succeed in the global marketplace,” explains Ouellette. “We have relationships with U.S. Embassies Consulates around the world that we can reach out to on a business’ behalf, as well as, a system in place to help small businesses identify and vet potential agents and distributors overseas. Part of our role domestically is to aware small businesses that support and export assistance is available. That is why it is so important for us to speak to the businesses in our communities.”
To round out the breakfast, Matthew Bock, Esq., Partner at Middleton & Shrull, discussed the legal part of exporting and why complying with export regulations is so important.
“To succeed in the global marketplace, you need to make sure your business is strictly adhering to export controls and economic sanctions laws and regulations,” explains Bock. “This is a complex regulatory environment, and given the stakes, both to your company and to national security, you are much better safe than sorry. Work with your attorney ahead of time to understand your risks and develop a compliance strategy that will help you streamline export sales and avoid potentially steep civil and criminal penalties.”
With 95% of commerce conducted outside of the United States, the world is open for business. This International Networking Breakfast was a great opportunity to help small businesses understand how they can safely tap into this opportunity.