In September 2006, Medgar Evers College was awarded a $900,000 grant by the United States Department of Commerce to establish the Brooklyn International Trade Development Center (BITDC) . The BITDC was made possible by the hard work of Con- gressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns, Dr. Edison O. Jackson (President of Medgar Evers College), and a team of dedi- cated individuals. The mission of BITDC is to promote job creation and economic development in Brooklyn by facilitating export activity on behalf of Brooklyn compa- nies. Brooklyn based companies who successfully ex- port will increase their profits, re-invest in their busi- nesses, and will hire additional employees. Increased export activity also spurs the growth of related indus- tries such as shipping, marketing, legal and financial services.
BITC will promote export development through outreach and educational programs; identify and assess companies eligible for export activity; and prepare and assist these companies in conducting international business. Over 90% of Brooklyn’s firms are small businesses, and special efforts will be made to identify and support Brooklyn’s many small, minority and woman businesses for export opportunities.
BITC’s goals are: 1) to build a targeted client base of firms from among Brooklyn’s nearly 100,000 busi- nesses; 2) to provide direct export training and assis- tance for clients via seminars, workshops, conferences and one-to-one technical assistance; 3) to identify and use the many export development resources available through federal, state, city and private sector programs to grow and enhance Brooklyn’s export businesses; 4) to provide a web based information cleari nghouse on international trade; and 5) to assist Brooklyn firms to achieve direct access to global markets and to help them se- cure business for their products and services.
Brooklyn’s businesses represent virtually every SIC and NAICS codes, providing a diverse portfolio of products and services to meet the growing demands of global markets in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. BITC will organize trade missions for Brooklyn businesses to travel to overseas markets and meet directly with potential buyers identified for their specific interest in purchasing Brooklyn businesses’ goods and services.