Information for Doing Business

Import and Export Assistance

Sag Harbor in Suffolk County was New York state's first international port of entry in 1784. Today, the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development serves as an information and referral service for local businesses seeking to expand into the global marketplace. Among the available programs:

  • New York State Export Working Capital Program -- Designed to assist small businesses that need export capital from $1 million to $30 million for one to five years.

  • Foreign trade zone -- Foreign or domestic merchandise may enter the zone located within MacArthur Airport in Islip without a formal customs entry or the payment of custom duties or government excise tax. If the final product is exported form the U.S., no U.S. customs duty or excise tax is levied. If the final product is imported into the U.S., custom duty and excise taxes are due only at the time of transfer from the zone, and are paid at the lower of the product itself or its component parts. More information can be obtained from the town of Islip:

  • Global Export Marketing Program -- New York state shares the cost of a consultant to help companies identify export opportunities.

  • International trade loan -- New York State provides short and long-term financing to small businesses involved in exporting, as well as businesses adversely affected by import competition. For more information on state import/export assistance go to

  • U. S. Small Business Administration --SBA Export Express is a new pilot loan guaranty program for small scale exporters with financing needs too small to be met profitably by traditional lending sources. Its goal is to streamline the processing of small export loans by allowing a lender to use its own documents based on its use of established and proven credit review and analysis procedures for loans of similar type and size. Eligibility for the program requires the applicant to demonstrate that loan proceeds will enable their company to increase an existing export market or enter a new export market. Also, applicants must have been in operation as a business for at least 12 months. For more information, contact: SBA, 202/205-7261; . Additional specialized exporting services available through the department include assistance with:

  • Accessing established foreign trade shows
  • Developing practical strategies for foreign exhibitions
  • Assessing the export potential of products
  • Locating possible overseas partners
In addition to the above, a large amount of information and abundant practical assistance in the field of international trade is available to both the new-to-export firm and the experienced exporter. The following list includes organizations in government and the private sector that provide trade-related services: OTHER USEFUL CONTACTS / INTERNET SITES
Valuable guidance and information in the field of international commerce, often in the form of newsletters and specialized publicatons, are frequently offered by:
  • International Departments of Commercial Banks
  • Foreign Freight Forwarders
  • International Airlines
  • International Shipping Lines
  • International Divisions of Consulting and Accounting Firms
  • The U.S. Government Export Portal -