Foreign sales help available through state

Small Minnesota businesses may get financial and technical help under a new program that focuses on aiding firms to increase foreign sales.

More than $450,000 is available, the Department of Employment and Economic Development says.

The Minnesota Trade Office and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will use the money to prepare companies that are not now exporting their products to get into foreign markets.

“The revenue and jobs that exports create here at home are extremely important to Minnesota’s economic health and well-being,” said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. “Last year, state exports of manufactured goods, agricultural commodities and services totaled $31 billion and were responsible for an estimated 115,000 jobs.”

In coming months, state officials plan to lead trade missions to India, China, Germany, Russia and Canada. The big trip is to be a Gov. Mark Dayton-led China trade mission in the spring or summer, making up for one he canceled due to this year’s budget dispute.

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