Seattle, Wash. (July 18, 2023) – Greater Seattle Partners (GSP) today announced the launch of the new Greater Seattle Export Accelerator (GSEA) program to provide advanced export training, export advising services, and access to international trade opportunities for STEM/R&D-focused small businesses in Snohomish, King and Pierce County.

In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Commercial Service Seattle, selected companies gain free access to a dedicated expert export advisor, and a public/private export ecosystem that includes local, state, and federal international trade and export service providers.

“Small businesses make up 99.5% of all businesses in our region, and international trade can play a critical role in diversifying risk, increasing profits, and creating more jobs. The more assistance we can provide to help innovative high growth small businesses compete and win business in the international marketplace, particularly for those owned and operated by underserved entrepreneurs, the more we are able to foster and facilitate a thriving and equitable regional ecosystem,” said Brian Surratt, chief executive officer of Greater Seattle Partners.

Participants will receive instruction through six export modules that include assessing finance capabilities, selecting target foreign markets, and addressing supply chain needs. The application deadline is August 15, 2023. To apply, visit

“We want our small businesses to grow and thrive. Helping them access global markets through this new program is a great way to put them on a prosperous path.  Our investment in GSEA will give Seattle’s small businesses a comprehensive and global approach for their export needs and positions our whole region to grow our economy in a  successful, sustainable, and equitable way,” said Markham McIntyre, Director, Seattle Office of Economic Development.

“Exports through the Port of Tacoma reached $8.4 billion in 2022, and this figure will continue to grow as we keep expanding access to the full range of tools that our local businesses and entrepreneurs need to become expert exporters,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “GSEA establishes a regional network of support for small businesses and entrepreneurs with a focus on international trade, and has been an excellent strategic partner for the City of Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Department.”

“The Port of Seattle is very excited to work with GSEA and our public and private sector partners to grow this program to increase exporting amongst our small business community. We are uniquely positioned on the Asia-Pacific Rim, and there is a tremendous amount of untapped potential to help companies ultimately use our facilities to connect with markets across the globe,” said Sam Cho, Commissioner, Port of Seattle.

“More than 60 percent of jobs in Snohomish County are related to trade, and our future prosperity depends on providing local businesses with the tools they need to expand their exports. GSEA gives us additional resources from force-multiplying institutions to provide our small businesses with customized export assistance across the public and private sectors,” said Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive.

“Approximately two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is in foreign countries. With that in mind, we want to see as many small businesses as possible benefit from these market opportunities,” U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd said. “With Greater Seattle Partners utilizing the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund to launch an export readiness accelerator, we are eager to collectively connect local firms with exporting resources from the SBA and fellow partners so they can increase profits, reduce market dependence, and stabilize seasonal sales.”

“Exporting is an important growth opportunity for many Washington small businesses,” said Washington State Commerce Director Mike Fong. “Commerce is pleased to partner with GSEA in bringing this new program online to help companies explore and successfully reach new international markets and consumers. The Export Accelerator is a great complement to the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) and other valuable tools and resources available in our state’s thriving trade ecosystem.”

About GSEA

GSEA is a direct result of GSP’s award-winning model for the SBA’s 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Winners of Stage One were selected through a multi-tier review panel process with experts in entrepreneurship, business, innovation, and strategic planning both inside and out of the federal government.


Greater Seattle Partners (GSP) is a public-private partnership that leads regional economic development through global business attraction, site selection and investment and trade opportunities in the greater Seattle region. GSP collaborates with community and economic development partners to ensure that every person in the Puget Sound region has the opportunity to prosper. We strive to attract and retain quality family/living wage jobs across all communities of the region. Throughout the world we tell the story of our talent, pioneering spirit, unique communities, and quality of life. For more information visit


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