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International trade office to open in West Des Moines


A new international trade office, funded by the federal Small Business Jobs Act, will open this spring at the West Des Moines Business Incubator.
    “This will be the equivalent of a regional center, except its service focus will be statewide,” said Jim Heckmann, state director of the Iowa Small Business Development Center, which operates 15 SBDC regional centers in Iowa. The international trade office’s primary function will be to assist Iowa companies in finding and developing export markets, as well as to help small businesses comply with federal export regulations.   
    “The center will develop its own clientele of exporters and export-ready businesses,” Heckmann said. “That specialist will also serve as a consultant to the other 15 centers when they are trying to expand their exporters.”

    The SBDC manages the incubator at 2829 Westown Parkway, Suite 220, which currently has seven of its 14 incubator spaces filled.

    Heckmann said he hopes to have an international trade specialist hired within the next 75 days. Earlier this week, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced a $477,754 Jobs Act grant, which will provide the initial two years of funding for the trade office.

    “Of course, we will be looking for ways to continue that position beyond the first two years,” he said.

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