Hochul Hosts Small Business Forum

December 11, 2011 Updated Dec 11, 2011 at 12:40 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Hochul Hosts Small Business Forum

December 11, 2011 Updated Dec 11, 2011 at 12:40 PM EDT

WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – ( release) Congresswoman Kathy Hochul held a Small Business Export Forum Saturday with small businesses from New York’s 26th Congressional District.

“Nearly 27,000 New York businesses export from our state to other countries every year, 94% of which are small or medium-sized businesses” said Congresswoman Hochul. “With our close proximity to Canada, and a new Joint Action Plan between our two countries, I hope we can help some of the businesses here today start exporting and increase their presence in the global marketplace.”

Last year, New York's export shipments totaled $69.7 billion, $8.5 billion of which came from the Buffalo-Niagara and Rochester Regions.

On Wednesday, the United States and Canada announced a new Joint Action Plan to reduce travel times, enhance border security, and increase commerce between the two countries.

Hochul added, “Right now, our region accounts for over 12% of the exports being sold from New York. Now that our small businesses have the opportunity and the right tools, I am confident we can increase that number tremendously.”

Participants in Saturday’s event included representatives from the Small Business Development Center, Empire State Development, The Buffalo World Trade Association, the Erie County IDA, and the Export-Import Bank.