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      CenterState CEO meeting focuses on doubling exports

      Business and civic leaders are gathering at the Oncenter in downtown Syracuse today for the annual CenterState CEO meeting.

      Last week, we told you how the group wants to double exports from here in Central New York. CenterState CEO's president Rob Simpson says Syracuse is in a great position for market growth. Currently, the businesses and manufacturers of Central New York export about $3.3 billion worth of goods and services annually. Simpson hopes to double those exports to more than $6 billion in just 5 years.

      CenterState is working hand in hand with the Brookings Institution, one of the most prestigious think tanks in the nation. Simpson says he's optimistic about the opportunities the expansion would bring to Central New York. "The reality is only 1 percent of companies in the U.S. actually export a good or service," Simpson told CNYCentral ahead of today's meeting. "Most of our companies are small. International business isn't a part of what they do."

      Simpson is also confident about the economic impact growing exports could bring to the region. "If we can excel in this area as a region, the number of jobs we can create locally and the amount of support and new revenue into our local business is significant," he said.

      At today's meeting, CenterState CEO will also announce its Business of the Year award winners and the winner of the sixth annual $200,000 Creative Core Emerging Business Competition.