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LISTEN ON DEMAND: THIS AMERICAN LIFE tribute to the 10 killed in the Tops Market shootings.

Forum provides resources for local businesses

More than 175 local businesses looking to rebuild Western New York turned out for an Economic Action Summit on UB's North Campus this morning. 

The forum included eight workshops covering small business, infrastructure and commerce, agriculture and energy, and education.  The session was sponsored by Rep.Kathy Hochul.   

The Buffalo Export Assistance Center's Acting Director Rosanna Masucci says more companies could be increasing their customer base and profits by taking advantage of what the Commerce Department has to offer.  Masucci gave a presentation on expanding opportunities through exports.

"It's not just the services that we provide...but also if they just have a question about a customs issue that they're having for a shipment or what are the requirements to get my product into Canada [or] Mexico, NAFTA requirements for instance, or if I want to sell into Germany. We can help them with that information, too, and a lot of those resources are free," said Masucci.

Masucci says some businesses are also growing by being online.  

"With the dollar being so low now, a lot of companies are getting e-mails from overseas companies asking about their products and trying to find out more information," she added. "The information that we can give them will really help them be able to make that sale."

Unlike some other government agencies, Masucci says the Export Assistance Center changes its programs to be adaptable to the needs of the business community.