The Savannah port is one of the few major ports in the country with balanced trade, exporting as much as it imports. Most bring far more into the country than they ship out.
The U.S. Department of Commerce honored one state agency, a regional business group and a unique publication last month with its E Award for providing service and assistance to exporters. A pair of Georgia companies also won recognition for the goods they ship to foreign buyers.
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker notes that President John Kennedy initiated the awards in 1962 to encourage activity that strengthens the U.S. economy.
“By selling made-in-America goods and services internationally, U.S. business can grow faster, hire more employees, pay higher wages, and help spread American ideas, innovation and values,” she said.
Last year, U.S. exports of a record $2.3 trillion supported 11.3 million jobs. In Georgia, exports of $37.6 billion by 14,500 companies resulted in 228,000 jobs, making the state the 11th biggest in the dollar value of shipments.
One of the entities Pritzker honored was the Georgia Department of Economic Development which received an E Star Award for building on its original E Award. It was the second E Star for the state agency.
“I am so honored that Georgia has been recognized for this pinnacle achievement,” said Kathe Falls, deputy commissioner of International Trade for the state agency. “To be the first organization to ever receive a second ‘E Star’ award for export service highlights our state as an industry leader with the quality services we offer to all Georgians.”
The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce picked up an E Award as did the Nordson-Swainsboro Manufacturing Plant of Swainsboro and SASCO Chemical Group Inc. of Albany.
In addition to Economic Development getting the only repeat, the state is home to the only publication to win recognition since the 1980s, Global Atlanta.
Since 1993, Global Atlanta has reported on exporters and international trade missions and diplomats. Its news stories are credited with helping to bring together buyers and sellers and highlighting opportunities for new markets.
Published by veteran newspaper reporter Phil Bolton, the online news site is credited as the only place to find comprehensive listings of conferences, visiting trade missions and the state’s international business community, not to mention interviews and hard-hitting reporting.
“We think there is a tremendous role for journalism in what we do,” Bolton said. “Not only is it interesting and timely, but it’s important to be in touch with people who are being creative in this field.”
Pritzker said that’s how its coverage benefits business development.
“Global Atlanta’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” she said.
Editor Trevor Williams said the goal is not to be a cheerleader for international business, but rather to report on it with enough detail and insight so that the information is usable by readers. Although the name includes the state’s capital city, the focus is actually statewide, from the golf carts exported from Augusta to timber products shipped out of Brunswick.
“If you look around the state, it’s pretty easy looking through the lens that we have to see the impact of the global economy,” he said.