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We want to serve you better as you seek to grow your exports. Please take a few moments to get to know our new Executive Secretary!


Small Business, Large Problems

by Michelle Rock,  International Business Development Advisor, AVP


Cell: (972) 896-9427 | SWIFT: ARVTUS44

The U.S. Census Bureau has been conducting regular “Pulse Surveys” of small businesses across the United States, with topics ranging from supply chain questionnaire and cash-on-hand, to demand and inflation. While these issues are not unique to small business, their effects are much larger as they struggle to remain profitable. Based on recent data gathered between March 28th and April 10th, 2022, the following stood out to me the most:


Have questions about exporting? Your Arkansas USCS office is the place to go. Please take a moment to get to know the new International Trade Specialist in Little Rock!

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Richard Duda, International Trade Specialist, US Commercial Service 

Richard Duda began his experience in economic development with SBA right out of college underwriting and servicing SBA commercial loans in middle Georgia. He went on to start up 7(a) loan programs with local and national lenders in Atlanta and packaged loans for banks in North Carolina with an expertise in franchising and franchise development. Richard has over 30 years marketing, sales, business, and economic development experience and has owned and operated several small businesses of his own. He joined SBA through the Office of Disaster Assistance assisting small businesses impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Maria to access capital to rebuild. In 2018 Richard joined the SBA Arkansas District office where he was also the International Trade Officer assisting small businesses to export and has recruited and trained SBA lenders on loan eligibility, underwriting, proper servicing, and compliance regarding SBA loan programs. He performed annual compliance reviews with ASBTDC micro-lenders, conducted multi-cultural and rural outreach initiatives and served as the Program Manager for the Emerging Leaders Streetwise MBA Program, an intensive seven-month CEO leadership cohort. In his new role as the International Trade Specialist for the US Commercial Service in Little Rock, Richard counsels current and potential Arkansas exporters to meet their export market development objectives and facilitate their exports, as well as foreign direct investment promotion and trade promotion through client and stakeholder engagement. He analyzes export trade information, conducts market research, and develops strategies for Arkansas business facilitation and trade investment promotion initiatives.

And Richard is available to you, as a current or potential Arkansas exporter!

Contact him at: 

Richard Duda

International Trade Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service – Little Rock Export Assistance Center

U.S. Department of Commerce | International Trade Administration

501-324-5797 (office)

501-251-7472 (mobile)


700 W. Capitol Avenue, Room 4413

Little Rock, Arkansas 72201


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Did you know that 95% of sales opportunities exist OUTSIDE the United States? Increase your market share by exporting --and the first step is our FREE webinar on June 22! It's a full day of interaction with experienced exporters and export service providers, covering everything you need to know, including how to develop customer relationships, building a global infrastructure, international logistics and finance, and compliance with regulations. 



Trade Chat with Chuck and Rudy, Tuesday, June 21 at 1:30PM CDT (Access Code: 951-442-885)

Topic: Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022

This bipartisan bill aims to level the playing field for American exporters and importers by providing the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) the tools it needs to improve oversight over international ocean carriers and crack down on rising shipping fees facing consumers. 


Our 2022 Governor's Award for Excellence in Global Trade Gala Dinner and Ceremony will be held Wednesday, October 5, at the Governor's Mansion. Applications are open until August 5! If you are interested in applying for the Award, please contact Max Avery. If you are interested in sponsoring the Award, please contact Ken Gaines as soon as possible. 

Please feel free to contact us with your questions and suggestions:

Heidi Whitman, Administrative Coordinator

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