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Smallbiz silent victim of global chaos

While debates rage over casualties in Israel, extremist groups explode the tombs of prophets, and airliners are being shot down and crashing in rapid succession, there is little wonder why American small businesses are abandoning thoughts of doing business abroad.

Experts say there is a $30 trillion economic prize waiting for American business around the world, yet a significant majority of small businesses in America that have the potential to export or do cross-border business simply refuses to do so.

Perhaps it is the consistent stories of corruption and the absence of the rule of law. Perhaps it is the violence to be avoided. Who knows? More likely, however, it is the simple absence of knowledge – and confidence on the part of American small business that keeps it from reaching for this very rich reward.

In my travels around the world, even in some difficult regional conflicts, there has always seemingly been a welcome mat for Americans and American business. Yes, even though that may have changed in some parts of the world, stop and think that a full 97% of today’s consumers live outside the United States and what appears on daily newscasts are such small slices of the globe that no decimal fraction properly could represent it.

So one can only hope that the monumental effort by governments around the world to promote cross-border commerce among small businesses will pay off. The headlines don’t help and, in fact, they hurt in 30 trillion ways.

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