MAYVILLE – With businesses in Chautauqua County competing on a global level, it may be difficult to know where to start.
That is why the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency and professional attorneys and economic developers joined together on Thursday for a free seminar at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville. The seminar focused on showing business professionals how to properly do business in the European Union.
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 member states, located primarily in Europe. It was established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993, upon the foundations of the pre-existing European Economic Community. With almost 500 million citizens, the European Union combined generates an estimated 30 percent share of the nominal gross world product.
The European Union has become one of the largest trading blocs of nations for U.S. companies, but there are challenges to doing business there, especially with new directives to exporters.
The goal of the program was to familiarize companies with the regulatory and legal framework of the European Union to minimize risk that businesses might encounter when doing business in Europe.
‘‘Knowing the laws and regulations a company may face beforehand will give decision-makers a distinct advantage over competitors that do not have that understanding, which better positions the company for success,’’ said Jon P. Yormick, Yormick & Associates managing attorney.
The program was geared toward companies that are selling products in the European Union, have an existing presence or are looking to establish a presence. Representatives from the business law firm Yormick & Associates, the U.S. Department of Commerce and World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara discussed the importance of the European Union market, government agencies, directives and contract negotiation issues.
The program also featured a discussion on negotiating contracts in the European Union, exporting, European legislation, European Union competition law and cross-cultural issues.
‘‘Our businesses compete in an international marketplace,’’ said County Executive Greg Edwards. ‘‘New rules made by the European Union can be challenging.’’
The free program was presented by Yormick & Associates, U.S. Department of Commerce, World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, District Export Council, Chautauqua County, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, Small Business Development Center, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Manufacturer’s Association of the Southern Tier.
Standing, Beth Reed, Small Business Development Center business adviser, with, left, Ed Kowalewski, International Trade Programs director, and, middle, Juan J. Vazquez, World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara marketing and public affairs director, discuss doing business in the European Union on Thursday in Mayville.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips