September 21, 2023

Export Opportunities ‘Huge … Timing is Right’

Tom Jarboe
Posted for The Patuxent Partnership

 A small panel with a powerful punch delivered this message: Export opportunities are here, today, in St. Mary’s County, MD.

A candid discussion last week among exporters, those wishing to become exporters, and the federal, state, and county officials who can help make it happen, promised to be only the first of many locally hosted events designed to help local businesses to move into the international market.

The Patuxent Partnership and the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce sponsored the briefing on Export Opportunities last week at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center. Before the briefing concluded the organizations were sketching out plans to bring a larger contingent of experts in St. Mary’s County to expand the discussion and get the word out to Southern Maryland businesses.

On the panel was St. Mary’s County Commissioner Tom Jarboe, owner of Kieyos, a company designed to help bring businesses into the global market. Mr. Jarboe recently traveled to Israel with a Maryland State business development delegation. The goal of the trip was to develop potential business leads for Maryland companies seeking to expand exports to Israel as well as meeting with candidate Israeli based companies that are interested in expanding operations into the United States, specifically Maryland.

Joining Mr. Jarobe was Mr. Paul Matino, an international trade specialist with the US Dept. of Commerce, specializing in the aerospace and defense industries. These industries have received a recent boon after the federal government re-categorized some parts and services previously classified as exclusively military.

“Opportunities are huge, especially in this sector. The timing is right,” said Mr. Matino.

With 95 percent of the aerospace and defense industry’s buyers outside the US,  both Mr. Matino and Mr. Jarboe emphasized that local companies should not be content working with only five percent of their potential customers.

Mr. Matino’s office helps companies do business overseas. They are not a regulatory office, but purely a resource and advocacy service to businesses wishing to enter an overseas market. From trade missions to one-on-one counseling, to matchmaking between businesses and between business and government, there is little the office doesn’t provide for a potential exporter. Including fielding grants that can be used to defray incidental costs of attending overseas trade missions or even participating.

There are additional programs beyond the federal level, said Mr. Jarboe. Maryland-based companies, interested in collaborating with new high tech product development with Israeli companies, are eligible for a grant from the Israel Binational R & D Foundation of up to $1 million.

Mr. Jarboe spoke also of efforts St. Mary’s County would be advancing to help companies. Steven Wall, the Maryland Dept. of Economic Development’s Southern Maryland representative also participated in the panel. “There are people in-house,” he said of Maryland’s commitment to supporting its companies wishing to export, “who know how to help companies get ready for the next step.”

Funding is also available to Maryland startup companies through the new MIDC-OurCrowd Partnership. OurCrowd of Israel is the global leader in equity crowdfunding. As a result of the partnership with the Maryland/Israel Development Center, OurCrowd is now evaluating Maryland companies for funding.

St. Mary’s County businesses interested in learning more about trade opportunities in Israel are encouraged to email Tom Jarboe directly. More information on the MIDC and available grant funding is here.

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