If freight train A is travelling at 150 kilometres an hour from Toronto to New York City carrying 225 kilograms of designer clothing, and transport truck B has departed Calgary for Texas with bicycles built from 70% Canadian-made materials, what documentation will United States customs require at the border?

If you’re entrepreneur or business owner, it’s not surprising if such nightmares are waking you up at night. Most of Canada’s micro and small- to medium-sized business owners didn’t study to become international trade experts. Let’s face it: running a small business means you barely have time to grab lunch, let alone figure out the ever-changing ins and outs of selling to global markets

Fortunately, there’s a solution for that

Successful entrepreneurs understand that selling globally is essential to their company’s long-term survival and growth. That’s why we developed the Export Development Canada (EDC) Export Help Hub, which is now also available as a free app at the Shopify App Store

At EDC, we’re in a prime position to help you get the information you need to break into new markets and manage the risks of international sales. We help thousands of companies—from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia—sell beyond our borders every day, and we make the answers to their most frequent questions available on the EDC Export Help Hub. Curated by EDC experts, this powerful tool also includes market insights, trade advice, e-commerce tips and more. 

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, we’ve combined the convenience of online with the human touch—you can even pose your question to a trade advisor and get a detailed answer in response.

Find the EDC Export Help Hub in the Shopify App Store

To make our free knowledge about selling internationally more easily available to people, we’ve teamed up with other enterprises that help small businesses grow, like Shopify, Canada’s leading e-commerce platform. Now, the 60,000 Canadian companies that Shopify serves can also access EDC’s Export Help Hub from the Shopify App Store. The app is integrated directly into the Shopify merchant dashboard for seamless use and is available in both English and French.  

But why not just Google it?

One of the most frequent questions I get asked about EDC’s Export Help Hub is, “Why wouldn’t I just Google the answers I need?”

Google is great for a lot of things, but if you Google, “How to find customers in Mexico,” you’ll get more than 100 million results in less than a second. Which ones have the answer you’re really looking for? More importantly, which ones can you trust to be accurate, up-to-date, and safe?

EDC’s Export Help Hub not only saves you time, but enables you to make smarter business decisions with answers specifically geared to the unique challenges of Canadian companies.

When we tested EDC Export Help Hub with Canadian companies, they told us that being able to connect with an actual expert—not simply a customer representative—was incredibly valuable to them. We make sure that our answers to your questions come from the most up-to-date, authoritative sources, whether it’s EDC, Global Affairs Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada, or other credible organizations. Simply put, we find answers you can trust.

Making it easier to navigate the COVID-19 crisis

Since COVID-19 hit, countless small companies have moved online with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify. Having an online presence is no longer something to think about for the distant future; it’s a necessity right now. Downloading the EDC Export Help Hub app to your Shopify platform—or, if you’re not on Shopify, visiting the Export Help Hub at edc.ca—means you can start selling internationally with more confidence. 

Take it for a test drive

To learn how the app works, just check out this short YouTube demo video. Whether you’re unsure about sales tax, clearing customs, or how your business can navigate the pandemic business climate, the EDC Export Help Hub can help guide and support you with your “going global” decisions—and new information is being added all the time.

Best part? When EDC’s trade advisors do the research for you, you can focus on growing your business. For more information download the app.