It may not be the familiar “shop-till-you-drop,” but for JQ American Corporation’s worldwide customers, the firm’s web-based “shopping mall” of 200,000 products featuring industrial, scientific, and medical equipment comes close. In recognition of the firm’s export efforts, the Hayward, CA-based firm today was presented with a finalist award as runner-up to the inaugural National District Export Council’s Small Business Exporter of the Year.
“The JQ American Corporation is an outstanding example of what a small business can achieve in the export marketplace,”said Don Gallion, Chairman of the National District Export Council Steering Committee. “Companies such a JQ American comprise more than 97 percent of U.S. exporters, and represent some of the best in entrepreneurial ingenuity and innovation.”
JQ American, a small, minority-owned firm, specializes in the supply and distribution of products and services to industrial and oil, laboratory, medical, pharmaceutical and chemical institutions. The company has utilized the U.S. Commercial Service’s Oakland U.S. Export Assistance Center and overseas posts for export counseling, market research, and pre-arranged business appointments abroad—and together with the collaboration of financing agencies such as U.S. Export-Import Bank—JQ American was able to make new-to-market sales to North Africa, Morocco, Algeria and Egypt. With USG assistance, the firm also landed a contract with the United Nations in Kosovo to outfit a hospital with medical supplies last year, and the company reports it will soon be making a sale of medical equipment to Iraq Ministry of Health.
According to the U.S. Commercial Service, 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States, and exporting helps businesses diversify their portfolios and weather changes in the domestic economy.
Jim Frierson, Vice-Chair of the Tennessee District Export Council who led the DEC judging panel, said they were “very impressed’ with JQ American’s export prowess. Founded in 1998, the company reports that exports account for nearly 90 percent of its total sales, and it currently markets to over 15 countries.
District Export Councils (DECs) are organizations of leaders from the local business communities across the United States, and are appointed by successive Secretaries of Commerce. With their expert knowledge of international business, DEC members are a key source of professional advice for local firms. For more than 25 years, DECs have served the United States by assisting companies in their local communities export, thus promoting our country’s economic growth and creating new and higher-paying jobs for their communities.
Companies competing for the award were nominated by U.S. Commercial Service offices. The DEC judging panel looked at criteria such as entrepreneurial ingenuity and creativity; growth in the number of export markets; and share of exports contributing to company sales.