PHOENIX (April 19, 2018)—“Are you running a small business and don’t think exporting is viable for your company? You might want to hear from a few Arizona companies who found out otherwise.

For one Arizona business, exporting means pecans. For another, it means exporting technology that helps people with disabilities use their eyes as a computer mouse. For another, it means shipping paint for model railroads and military armor to countries outside North America.

JPAC 2018 Sun Corridor EDGE

These diverse stories are just a few examples of how small and mid-sized companies are achieving success by exporting. They are among 20 companies in greater Phoenix and Tucson to be recognized as part of a special program of the Joint Planning Advisory Council (JPAC) on Thursday, April 26, at Wild Horse Pass, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, AZ 85226. The JPAC meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. The EDGE awards are anticipated between 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

EDGE stands for Economic Development for the Global Economy, and the special recognition program focuses on exporting. This is the second year that the advisory council is recognizing businesses in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties for exporting success.

“Exporting drives our economy. Businesses that export tend to pay higher wages and are better able to withstand changes in the market due to seasonal activities and economic fluctuations,” said MAG Chair Jackie Meck, mayor of Buckeye. “Exporting in the Sun Corridor is very diverse and includes sectors such as agriculture, solar, skin care, and high tech innovations,” he said.

“I see exporting as one of the greatest strategic efforts we can undertake to build a stronger, local economy, and that’s why we do it,” adds Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who chairs the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Economic Development Committee.

“We all have a role to play in supporting Arizona businesses that export,” noted Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “For example, local governments can partner with EXIM, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, to make funding more available. Residents can buy from local companies. Businesses can access training and information through groups like the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Global Chamber.”

Sometimes, small solutions can make a big difference. Just knowing what the regulations are for shipping to other countries can seem insurmountable to some small companies. And indeed, using the wrong packaging can result in higher shipping costs, longer delays at customs, and a higher percentage of product being damaged. As part of the EDGE effort, MAG is partnering with US Commercial Services and Arizona Commerce Authority to offer two ExporTech training classes to connect businesses with the resources they need. The work is supported with a grant from the Federal Highway Administration through the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Along with recognizing the EDGE businesses at the meeting, members of JPAC will discuss funding opportunities and challenges in exporting.

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