Survey: Federal export rules too complex for small businesses

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The more than 500 business owners surveyed wanted better information from the federal government and a more accessible one-stop-shop, instead of having to deal individually with the 20 agencies that are involved in some way in the export process.


“Many small businesses are very interested in entering the world markets, but the path to those new growth opportunities can seem daunting,” said Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the Small Business Committee, in a statement responding to the survey. “Now is the time to help small businesses grow and expand through trade."

Last month, Graves and two other members of the committee, Reps. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), introduced legislation to give Congress more oversight of export promotion agencies, unify their work and help exporters understand changes to laws and regulations that might affect them.

"The interest in small business trade is growing and our three bills work together to reduce small business obstacles to taking their products and services beyond our borders,” Graves added.

Only 16 percent of the survey's respondents claimed that the Obama administration's proposals to enhance exports will or have helped them.

Small businesses are prime exporters. According to the association, 98 percent of all exporting firms are small.