With larger businesses still trying to rebound from years of a slow economy, Congressman Jim Moran held a small business summit Tuesday in Falls Church to expose entrepreneurs to the global market.
Moran said small business owners should expand outside the American economy and into the Asian market. With the U.S. recently signing a trade agreement with South Korea, Moran (D-8th District) said the opportunity to expand into markets overseas is now.
"If the federal government cuts back spending, it will affect the small-business owners," Moran said after the summit. "I want them to be able to develop trade ties overseas."
Several business support groups including the Virginia Small Development Center Network and the Asian American Chamber of Commerce attended Moran's small business summit at the James Lee Community Center. The summit included discussions on the state of the Northern Virginia economy, U.S.-Asian trade, and entrepreneurship opportunities in Northern Virginia.
As entrepreneurs filtered into the auditorium at the community center around 9:15 a.m., Dr. Stephen Fuller spoke on the state of the economy in Northern Virginia. He said about 21,000 jobs were added in the Northern Virginia area and the unemployment rate in the area is at 4.4 percent, the lowest in the Washington, D.C., area.
James Sweet, an Oakton resident who owns a technology company that develops mobile applications, listened closely to Fuller's presentation. A school in China reached out to Sweet to speak about the development of his application that allows people to reach out to off-duty emergency responders for help.
"This summit was good because it brought people together who have the same idea of expanding to the Asian countries," Sweet said.
Expanding small businesses outside the U.S. is a popular topic these days, Del. Mark Keam said. Keam (D-35th District) said he was glad to see a number of entrepreneurs at the summit equipping themselves with the tools needed to be successful in foreign markets.
"This is a great opportunity for us to highlight ways for small businesses in Northern Virginia to get into the global economy," Keam said.