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UTSA International Trade Center honored with National SBDC of the Year Award

ITC staff

UTSA Small Business Development Center staff

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(April 8, 2014) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development announced today that Cliff Paredes, director of the International Trade Center, and his team of international business consultants and support staff have been selected as the national 2014 Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The official award ceremony will be part of the National Small Business Week events May 12-16 in Washington, D.C.

Nearly 1,000 SBDCs are located nationwide covering rural, urban and suburban communities.

Since 1963, the president of the United States has issued an annual proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. Weeklong events recognize outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions. U.S. small businesses are critical to the economy, with more than half of all working Americans either owning or working for a small business.

The International Trade Center was founded in 1992 and is an integral part of the UTSA Institute for Economic Development and South-West Texas Border SBDC Network. The core services for South and West Texas are import/export consulting and market research, which are augmented by international trade training programs. Through the Texas International Business Accelerator program the center consults foreign investors on setting up businesses in Texas. The SBDCGlobal program provides training for foreign governments on the development of U.S.-modeled SBDC networks, and runs the online trade platform SBDCGlobal.com.

In 2013, the efforts of the center helped 478 clients to create 1,082 jobs, increase $439 million in global sales, secure $80 million in new financing, enter 158 new markets and facilitate $57 million in foreign-direct-investment in Texas. Their industry-leading training program trained 683 business professionals at 28 events.

Through their SBDCGlobal program, and with the support of the Department of State and the UTSA Institute for Economic Development, the center provided training on starting and operating an SBDC for the governments of Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, St. Lucia and Tunisia. The center also continued development of the SBDCGlobal.com trade platform that connects U.S. and international SBDC clients.

"Cliff Paredes has a clear vision to make President Obama's Small Business Network of the Americas a reality through his SBDCGlobal program," said Robert McKinley, UTSA associate vice president for economic development. "As innovators within our SBDC profession, Cliff and his team have generously promoted and shared the international trade specialization experience and best practices developed over the past 20 years with their sister SBDCs across the nation."

The International Trade Center at UTSA is one of the largest and most successful trade assistance organizations in Texas. It helps companies become globally competitive through technical trade consulting, customized market research and innovative training programs. The center is a specialty SBDC program in the South-West Texas Border SBDC Network. Follow them on Twitter (@TexasTrade) and like them on Facebook (Facebook.com/texastrade).

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