Benefits of exports to rural businesses and state's economy

K. William Boyer
Devils Lake Journal

Senators Hoeven & Klobuchar Review First Year of Rural Export Center’s Operations

FARGO – Senators John Hoeven and Amy Klobuchar recently held a roundtable with the North Dakota District Export Council and business leaders from companies in North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota to review the first year of operations for the Rural Export Center (REC), which is based out of the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) office in Fargo. The REC provides customized market research, analysis and planning to assist rural businesses across the country in offering their products and services internationally. Through his role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven:

·        Secured $1 million across fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021 to support the establishment and operation of the REC.

·        Worked with the USCS to locate the new center in Fargo, alongside the existing Rural America Intelligence Service for Exporters (RAISE) program.

3. Williston, North Dakota     • Overall score:  66.39     • Best ranking business aspect:  Business Environment     • Median household income:  $84,710-- #342 out of 1,337 cities     • Unemployment rate in June 2021:  n/a     • Population: 27,250 -- #1,159 out of 1,337 cities    ALSO READ: The States With the Best and Worst Economies

Since its inception last year, the REC has assisted 1,828 clients in 24 states. Hoeven and Klobuchar are sponsoring bipartisan legislation to make the REC a permanent program under the USCS and formally authorize appropriations for the center to help ensure funding in future years.

North Dakota: Horace     • Median household income:  $131,354 (state: $63,473)     • Poverty rate:  1.5% (state: 10.9%)     • Median home value:  $293,800 (state: $185,000)     • Population:  2,660   Here are the Unemployment Claims in North Dakota Since COVID-19 Shut the Economy Down

“Exports are a vital part of North Dakota’s economy, with our state exporting $7 billion worth of goods in 2019, supporting an estimated 28,000 jobs,” Hoeven said. “This comes as a result of our long-term efforts, both through the North Dakota Trade Office and now the Rural Export Center, to create opportunities for trade across industries, including agriculture, energy and manufacturing. With the Rural Export Center now in its second year of operation, today’s discussion is all about reviewing the impact of their good work and future opportunities to grow and diversify businesses throughout rural America.”