ITC at SIUE and SWITIC to Host Virtual Roundtable Series: Growing Your Business Through Exports

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ITC at SIUE and SWITIC to Host Virtual Roundtable Series: Growing Your Business Through Exports

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The International Trade Center (ITC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is partnering with the Southwestern Illinois Trade and Investment Council (SWITIC) to offer a new virtual roundtable series to businesses located in the Southern Illinois region on the topic of Growing your Business through Exports.

The first roundtable discussion will focus on jump-starting and improving export sales, and will take place from 11 a.m.-Noon Thursday, Sept. 24 via Zoom.

Registration is free, but required by Monday, Sept. 21, with a cap at 20 participants. To register, visit or email with your name, company name, email address and company website.

“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Illinois-based companies are facing new hurdles related to exporting,” said Illinois Small Business Development Center ITC at SIUE Director Silvia Torres Bowman. “I hear stories daily of how hardworking business owners in our region are struggling during this uncertain season. I want to reassure those leaders that they are not alone. The ITC at SIUE stands ready to serve as a resource.”

“Virtual gatherings such as this upcoming roundtable will allow exporting experts and peers across Southern Illinois to discuss challenges, share ideas and develop solutions to navigate these unchartered waters and remain successful in selling goods and services to international markets.”

According to Torres Bowman, forward looking business leaders are preparing now to take advantage of exporting to increase sales and expand market share. She emphasizes the actionable recommendations focused on exporting success that attendees will gain from the roundtable discussion.

Moderating the session is Tom Dustman, an international sales executive with more than 25 years of experience who serves on the National District Export Council for the Midwest region. Additionally, SWITIC President Craig Eversmann, a Collinsville exporter as president of MSSC, LLC, will share specific strategies that have enabled his company to thrive in the wake of COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented disruption to the global economy and world trade, as production and consumption are scaled back across the globe,” Eversmann said. “My business, along with so many others in the region who depend on foreign customers to flourish, need help to survive and continue to be profitable during these trying times.”

“During this roundtable of regional exporting business leaders, we will discuss unique challenges being faced and receive tips and strategies on how to thrive in this new COVID world,” he continued. “We will also learn about the potential for new relief programs for small businesses affected by the pandemic. By participating in this virtual discussion, participants will have the opportunity to influence the makeup of those programs within the context of their business needs. 

Participants will also hear the latest on the ISTEP program, which includes a 50-75% reimbursement and increased cap amounts for activities such as virtual shows, product compliance and website localizations. They will also learn about available CARES Act supplemental funds.

For more information, contact Torres Bowman at

The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at SIUE serves businesses in Southern Illinois by providing individualized, no-cost export advising, identification of foreign buyers, agents and/or distributors through trade leads, international market analysis, and more.

The ITC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. It has a longtime partnership with the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment (OTI), which maintains a full-time staff of both foreign and domestic-based international trade and marketing experts. OTI also manages six foreign trade offices located in Belgium, Japan, Mainland China, Mexico, Canada, and Israel.

Author: Admin