In the case of worldwide commerce, one does not sometimes consider small companies and immigrant communities.

However the untapped potential of these two demographics is the main focus of a US Small Enterprise Administration convention in Seattle on Wednesday and Thursday. The trouble, at the side of Better Seattle Companions, a public-private financial growth company, the Port of Seattle and state Division of Commerce, seeks to assist native Korean American companies discover new alternatives to promote again to Korea.

That is the primary in-person occasion anyplace within the nation by the SBA to jump-start small enterprise exports amongst diaspora communities. An earlier digital occasion specializing in Colombia and Latin America was a lot smaller.

The SBA centered on Korean People in Seattle for quite a lot of causes. This area boasts one of many largest Korean American populations within the US There are lots of distinguished Korean American political leaders right here, together with former Metropolis Council member Martha Choe, Port of Seattle Commissioner Sam Cho and former Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim. Greater than 40,000 folks within the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue space had been born in Korea.

South Korea exported greater than $4.5 billion to the Seattle area final yr, primarily automotive and industrial merchandise. In flip, we exported greater than $2 billion to South Korea — primarily agriculture, aerospace and industrial equipment merchandise.

The SBA needs to assist decrease export boundaries for Korean American small companies. By accessing loans and grants, Korean American companies may translate web sites or pay for trade-show visits.

Boosting exports and decreasing commerce boundaries “could be a boon to the state, notably at a time after we are experiencing inflation and try to stave off an financial slowdown,” in accordance with SBA paperwork.

Whereas solely 13.2% of the US inhabitants are first-generation immigrants, they characterize 20.6% of all US enterprise homeowners. It is smart to assist them promote again to their former compatriots on e-commerce and different platforms. That may solely profit the economic system for all People.

Setting the occasion in a Pacific Rim metropolis like Seattle has clear geopolitical ramifications as properly. As China threatens Taiwan and tensions mount, the strengthening of ties between the US and South Korea reveals one other method — pleasant relations that transcend diplomacy and massive enterprise to learn small expat retailers and entrepreneurs.

The SBA considers this week’s occasion to be a “down cost” on additional native financial growth for Seattle’s diaspora neighborhood. If profitable, the dividends may create new jobs, strengthen ties between nations, and supply a brilliant various to the issues of battle and concern.