by Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
November 23, 2009

St. Paul, Minn. — A bipartisan coalition of Midwest lawmakers and business groups is working to promote export activity among the region's small and mid-sized businesses.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, DFL-Minn. and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. are co-hosting a summit Monday morning in Sioux Falls. It will look at how federal agencies can help small and mid-sized businesses enter foreign markets and expand their international sales.

Both Klobuchar and Thune serve on the Senate Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation and Export Promotion. Klobuchar said small business owners need to realize that most of their potential customers are located outside the United States.

"There is a real emphasis on this right now, because people have realized we have this growing market right outside our borders," Klobuchar said. "And when most businesses in the U.S. export, it tends to be to Canada or Mexico, but there are a lot of other countries out there that could be a source of business."

Klobuchar said about a third of U.S. businesses surveyed say they would consider exporting if they had more information on how to do it. She said businesses across the state have expanded their Minnesota operations by increasing their exports.

"It's more jobs for Minnesota, more jobs for this country in a way that I don't think we would have thought about 25 years ago," Klobuchar said. "But there is a real emerging market; you see it in India, in China...there is a lot of buying power out there."


9:00 a.m.

Monday, November 23


Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

200 North Phillips Ave.

Sioux Falls, S.D.