Export sales by Connecticut companies were down 15% in 2020 when compared to 2019 levels, largely due to economic disruptions from COVID-19. Total Connecticut exports were $13.8 billion in 2020, down from $16.2 billion, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Aircraft engines and parts represented about 30% of overall CT exports, leading the way.
Connecticut’s top five export markets are Germany, Canada, UK, China and France. Top export industries also include machinery, computer & electronic products, chemicals, fabricated metal products, and electrical equipment.
May 3-7 is Export Week, celebrated by the U.S. Small Business Administration in conjunction with the U.S. Commercial Service. During the week, a number of virtual export sessions, led by both private and public sector experts, will feature tradecraft programs and industry focused opportunities. Many of the programs are being offered free of charge, and may be of interest to new-to-export businesses or experienced exporters.
During 2020, 15.7% of Connecticut exports went to Germany, 12% to Canada, and 8.4% to the United Kingdom. The biggest drop in exports was to France, which dropped by 52% from 2019 to 2020. The largest increase in exports last year was to the Netherlands, which increased by 9%. The only other increase among the top 11 nations receiving exported goods from Connecticut was to Poland, which grew by 2%.
Connecticut’s leading export industry - civilian aircraft, engines and parts – which make up almost one-third of the state’s exports, saw a 32.2% decline last year, compared with the previous year, according to foreign trade data compiled by the U.S. Census.
The Economic Aid Act approved by Congress in late December included modifications to SBA lending programs that waived certain service fees through September 2021. In addition, SBA increased the guaranty percentage provided to its partner lenders up to 90% from 75%. For SBA loans, the Annual Service Fee has been reduced to zero through September, among other revisions aimed at assisting small businesses amidst the pandemic.
Exports from the U.S. now include coronavirus vaccines, according to published reports. Pfizer is expected to start supplying Canada with COVID-19 vaccine this week, making it the second country, after Mexico, to receive doses from the Kalamazoo, Michigan facility. Pfizer’s facility in Groton has been described as the company’s largest research and development facility in the world. The Pfizer vaccine was developed with German partner BioNTech.