The Small Business Exporters
Association of the United States is the largest and
oldest nonprofit association dedicated exclusively to
small and mid-size business exporters in the United
States. SBEA serves as the international trade arm of the
National Small Business Association. Founded in 1937, NSBA
is the nation’s oldest nonprofit small business advocacy
organization. It has 150,000 members in all 50 U.S.
SBEA provides its members with three major types of
• Governmental advocacy on behalf of all small exporters,
and on behalf of individual member companies that
encounter government difficulties as they export.
• Networking opportunities with other small and
medium-sized US companies involved in exporting.
• Member benefits designed to save your company money as
you export. Plus access to other money-saving benefits
offered through our partner organization, NSBA.
We advocate legislation and government policies that
expand the opportunities for smaller companies to export.
Here are some examples:
• supporting small business export promotion activities by
federal and state agencies;
• emphasizing small business in international trade
agreements that are negotiated by the United States Trade
• assuring that smaller company export financing
guarantees are provided by the Export-Import Bank of the
United States and the US Small Business Administration;
• assuring small business access to insurance and
investment guarantees under Ex-Im Bank and the Overseas
Private Investment Corporation;
• assisting in the distribution of information on foreign
markets from the US Department of Commerce to smaller
• publicizing international trade opportunities for small
business identified by the US Trade and Development
• encouraging other trade-related government agencies,
such as the US Departments of Agriculture, State and
Treasury to do more for small business.
SBEA’s expertise is widely recognized. We are accredited
to the World Trade Organization as a representative of
small and medium-size U.S. exporters. Several of our
members serve as official trade advisors to the U.S.
government. SBEA serves on the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiation, the federal government’s most senior trade policy advisory group.
SBEA's current legislative agenda includes:
• Supporting the national network of U.S. Export
Assistance Centers, especially by insuring the U.S. Small
Business Administration continues to offer export
financing through these local offices.
• Making sure that international trade agreements
developed by the Office of the United States Trade
Representative take full account of the needs of U.S.
small and medium size enterprises (SME’s), and working
with USTR to get the World Trade Organization (WTO) to
take fuller account of the needs of small and medium size
• Working with the Export-Import Bank of the United States
to make adequate export financing available for smaller
exporting companies; strengthening Ex-Im's outreach to
smaller exporters; simplifying and streamlining small
business access to the Bank; and assuring that Ex-Im has
the financial resources it needs to achieve these
• Backing efforts to get more banks involved in financing
small business exports.
•Supporting a strong push for U.S. export promotion, including many of the initiatives described in the annual “National Export Strategy” report.
SBEA offers great networking opportunities because we have
so many experienced and friendly members. While we welcome
those who are considering exporting, or new to it, we also
offer good contacts for even the savviest exporters. The
average SBEA member ships to four or more countries, has
been exporting for more than ten years, and sells more
products abroad than in the United States. Many of our
members have won local, state or regional exporting
awards, and several have received the nation’s highest
export award -- the President’s “E” award. Our members
range from one person consulting businesses to companies
with several hundred employees, and their sales range from
$50,000 a year to over $200 million a year. The average
member has about forty employees engaged in exporting and
sells about $10 million a year abroad.
We put on meetings around the country that bring these
smaller exporting companies together. Recent events have
been held in Miami, Seattle, and Jackson, Mississippi. In
addition, we hold at least one meeting a year in
Washington, DC, often in conjunction with our colleagues
in the National Small Business Association.
SBEA also offers its members a selection of benefits,
including free or discounted access to:
• online tutorials on exporting,
• extensive databases of trade leads,
• a regular newsletter with money-saving tips for smaller
• representation at foreign trade shows,
• export financing and export credit insurance,
• foreign language translations,
• foreign market research, and
• assistance with foreign labeling and product standards
requirements, as well as international product quality
assurance standards, and
• a variety of free tips and assists in the Member Center
of our website.
As an SBEA member, you will also have access to a variety
of money-saving benefits through our partner organization,
the National Small Business Association. Included are
• express shipping,
• car rentals,
• insurance products,
• office supplies and
• payroll tax services.