Importance of Exports Grows for Small Manufacturers

Scale economies as well as the complexity and cost of selling goods and services overseas naturally give larger business establishments a competitive advantage in the exporting arena. In spite of the challenges, smaller manufacturing firms are gaining traction in global markets. The share of small and medium manufacturers reporting that exports account for more than one-quarter of their sales more than tripled from 3.8 percent during 2001 to 12.8 percent during 2008.

The Internet, as well as a variety of government programs, has lowered the barriers to export markets for smaller manufacturers. And technology has allowed for smaller scale production of commoditized products.

Chart via National Association of Manufacturers