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Published: Wednesday, 12/11/2002

Program would help region's firms with worldwide sales

Toledo's Regional Growth Partnership is expected to announce today a new program to assist businesses interested in selling products globally.

The new Great Lakes Trade Institute will replace the Toledo Area International Trade Association, which joined the partnership in January after 28 years as a program of the Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce.

While the trade association acted primarily as a referral service for businesses with questions about export sales, the new organization will be a one-stop service for businesses seeking information on the topic, said John Gibney, spokesman for the growth partnership.

Also, unlike the trade association, known as TAITA, the new organization will serve all businesses in northwest Ohio, not just to members who pay a fee, added Mr. Gibney.

"It's main purpose will be to act as a facilitator to help businesses get the information they need to find opportunities for growth and success internationally," he said.

The institute will have a full-time director, Jamie Beier, and 10-member advisory board led by Hans Rosebrock, economic development executive locally for FirstEnergy Corp.

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