Many Richmond Region firms aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to exporting their services or goods internationally. The Metro Richmond Exports Initiative (MREI) is a partnership between the two regional economic development organizations — the Greater Richmond Partnership (GRP) and Virginia’s Gateway Region (VGR) – that cover the Richmond, Virginia, metro area.
The non-profit program helps central Virginia businesses through special educational and networking programs, grants and scholarships for export-related activities and connect businesses with the resources they need to go global.
Mostly designed for small- to medium-sized companies who are considering finding new market segments overseas, MREI helps companies navigate the processes of global distribution. According to U.S. Commercial Service, 95 percent of the world’s potential consumers are outside of the U.S., and the global affinity for American-made products and services is second to none.
Why is exporting a smart move for your business?
- Exporting can accelerate company valuation because exporters reduce their overall market risk by spreading sales and operations through more than one economy.
- Exporters are more innovative than their non-exporting peers two years after export launch due to access to diverse knowledge bases from international partners – up to 4-times more product innovations and 7-times more patent submissions.
- Exporters enjoy a stronger workforce and earn roughly 1-2% higher wages. Firms that export have shown to be more skilled and productive regardless of company size.
- Exporters enjoy higher productivity – up to 72% more than non-exporters. The U.S. International Trade Commission found that U.S. small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) manufacturing exporters earned more per firm than non-exporters.
- Exporters grow faster, whether they deal in services or manufacturing. Exporters show higher total revenues and faster total revenue growth.
- Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S. has shrunk, but opportunity is strong for American-made goods.
Metro Richmond’s central location, marine terminal facilities, and easy access to the Port of Virginia and international airports make it an excellent choice as a major East Coast logistics center that can support both exports and inward trade.