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Choosing the right distribution channels can be difficult for businesses, whether a small-scale custom t-shirt design company or a giant producer of goods. A virtual conversation with Southern Illinois Businesses will offer expert advice on Gaining Sales Channel Partners for Exporting.

The free webinar is part of an ongoing virtual roundtable series hosted by the Illinois Small Business Development Center International Trade Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the Southwestern Illinois Trade and Investment Council.

It will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 29, via Zoom. The webinar is free, but registration is required at

“We invite southern Illinois businesses who want to jump-start their export sales,” said ITC at SIUE partner and roundtable moderator Tom Dustman, international sales director of Sunnen Products Company. “Exports are incredibly important to southern Illinois small- to medium-sized businesses, because they expand markets for their goods."

According to Dustman, establishing a sales channel partner for exporting is a pivotal business decision. Who and how businesses choose a partner determines how their products are handled, the speed at which they are delivered, and business growth.

Exporters should consider several key factors when determining a distribution channel, including:

  • Does my product have a shelf life? 
  • How large is the target market for my product? 
  • How large is the potential distribution company in the foreign country and what is its product mix? 
  • What is the status of the economy in the target geography? Will it aid our growth strategy?
  • What is the cost of a specific channel of distribution?

The roundtable will provide actionable recommendations focused on exporting success. 

For more information, contact Illinois SBDC ITC at SIUE Director Torres Bowman at

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