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Local Businesses Join Duquesne Center on Trip to Grow Latin American Exports

Business owners who attended a Latin American trade show in Chile with Duquesne University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are expecting several millions of dollars in sales as a direct result.

Businesses sending representatives to the show 2015 Conexpo Latin America trade show in Santiago, Chile, were Becker Wholesale Mine Supply Inc. of Irwin, Elliott Group of Jeanette, SealGuard Inc. of Gibsonia and Tamco Tools of Monongahela. In Chile, they were able to network with U.S. Ambassador Michael A. Hammer and his commercial staff.

The SBDC also helped four other businesses-A C Power Tech, Bon Tool Co., Comptec Inc. and Mills Machine Co.-to be represented in a catalogue show.

The trip was planned to help small- and medium-sized Pennsylvania businesses expand their exports to Latin America, especially the Pacific Alliance countries of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, according to Dr. Mary McKinney, SBDC director.

"Conexpo Latin America is the largest tradeshow in Latin America for the construction industry, and the Pacific Alliance countries are among the fastest growing in the world," McKinney said. "Our attendance at the tradeshow provides us with the opportunity to introduce Pennsylvania businesses to the Pacific Alliance countries' leading firms in their industry. Our team's first-hand knowledge of the language and countries' business practices really facilitate the PA businesses to enter the market more easily."

The SBDC plans to return to Santiago for another trade show this spring with Pennsylvania firms, said McKinney, building on the huge success at the Conexpo show.

Duquesne University

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