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Virtual Export Assistance

​The Office of Trade & Investment (OTI) continues to offer Illinois businesses with virtual services to support export promotion and international sales growth. OTI’s team of Chicago based international trade specialists and six foreign trade offices in: Belgium, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, and Mexico are ready to support businesses across the state.

Market Research and Export Counseling

Is your business strategizing on how to hit the ground running after this crisis? OTI’s international network can provide an initial assessment of international market(s) your business is considering pursuing and provide detailed industry and regulatory information, insights, and recommendations for chosen markets.

International Business Development Service

OTI’s international trade network can generate pre-qualified distributor or agent lists for your business to support your company’s international sales growth in markets your business is already committed to exporting to.

Please contact the international trade specialist(s) that covers the market(s) you are interested in to begin your consultation.

​Lauro Arias

​Sam Ntum
Africa & Middle East 

​Iwona Bochenska

​Chris Sedgwick
Canada & Latin America

Illinois State Trade and Export Promotion Program

ISTEP funds may now be used to attend Virtual Trade Shows. Eligible Illinois companies may apply for reimbursement of costs associated with participation in Virtual Trade Shows, up to $7,500.

Reimbursement limits have been raised for product compliance and website localization.  Qualified Illinois small businesses may apply to receive 50% reimbursement of costs, not to exceed $6,000 per company and individual service.  All other program parameters still apply.

Product Compliance

This assistance is available for measures taken to comply with foreign regulations including those for agricultural products, ISO registration, and packing and recycling laws. Priority will be for lab testing services to achieve product certification, such as CCC mark, CE mark, ISO 9001, ITAR, AS91 00, and ATEX. The International Trade Administration’s listing of certification will be used as a guide. 

Website Localization

Reimbursable services include website translation services, localization for foreign markets, and search engine optimization for companies to increase opportunities for export success.


Find upcoming webinars on the OTI event page that is updated regularly