Helping NH Companies STEP Up to Exporting

35 Granite State companies are getting help to boost their exports


Dozens of companies from around New Hampshire will receive matching grants to help them explore export markets or boost their existing efforts. In all, 35 companies received the awards from the federal Small Business Administration's State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant.

In its second year, New Hampshire received nearly $300,000. Offered through the state’s International Trade Resource Center, the grant provides up to $5,000 per company, in a cash match. The STEP program encourages small to medium-sized Granite State companies to increase their exports and they can use the money to research overseas markets, comply with trade regulations and take part in foreign trade missions.

“We had an overwhelming response from companies interested in international trade,” said Tina Kasim, program manager for the ITRC. “It shows us that many businesses are ready for expansion and this program provides that opportunity.”

Paul Dann, owner of Café Indigo in Concord, said that after seven years of growing his vegan bakery and eatery and getting into markets elsewhere around the country, he’s looking north.

“We’d like to move our bakery sales to Canada and this grant has helped us decide to take this step,” he said. “It was something we were going to do next fall, but now we get to focus on the strategic planning. We are very excited.”

The companies receiving the grants are a mix of manufacturing, technology, services and food, Kasim said. They are using the money to do market research, investigate the cost of getting to the markets, translating websites and software and paying for booth rents at trade shows. Assisting them will be the US Commercial Service and the Granite State Export Council.

“Without this kind of funding, it might have taken our small businesses a little bit longer to break into exporting,” Kasim said. “By expanding their products and services, they can grow and expand and offer more jobs.”

Companies receiving grant awards include:

- Clearview Software, Amherst

- Molecular Knowledge, Bedford

- OLK12, Canterbury

- Café Indigo; BittWare, Concord

- Hydrocomp, Durham - Relyco; Eco-Touch,Dover

- Advanced Kiosks, Franklin

- W.S. Badger, Gilsum

- Sleepnet, Hampton

- Altronics; Equipment Technologies, Hudson

- New England Wire, Lisbon

- Airmar Technology; Tech Resources, Milford

- Greenerd Press; Image Expert; Axenics, Nashua

- Sponge-Jet, Newington

- Kasi Infrared, Newport

- CBI, Newton

- Heron Point Seafood, Newmarket

- Zakon Group, North Conway

- Beede Electrical Instruments, Penacook

- Nantucket Beadboard, Rochester

- Corfin Industries; Good Leads; Innovative Foto, Salem

- Ardent Concepts, Seabrook - Itaconix, Straham

- Dwell Earth, Swanzey

- Comptus, Thornton

- Pro-Cut, West Lebanon

For more information about the programs and assistance offered by the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center, visit www.exportNH.org or call Kasim at 603-271-8444.

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steve forte January 02, 2013 at 04:50 PM
So were these grants loans? If so , great program. If not then we need to take a look at the budget. No one goes broke in 1 weekend . It happens over time . The gvmt is no different.
Carol Robidoux January 02, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Pretty sure the word grant is used promiscuously throughout, Steve Forte.
Proud Conservative January 02, 2013 at 05:02 PM
True, Watts. Just about anything we buy could have been produced in this country - at a much higher cost. You can't fault a business for keeping their production and distribution costs to a minimum so as to maximize profit. The reason all the jobs moved overseas - unions, and their outrageous wage and benefits demands.
Proud Conservative January 02, 2013 at 05:05 PM
I believe the grants were outright gifts of taxpayer money and not loans. The SBA loan program is a whole different animal.
steve forte January 02, 2013 at 05:09 PM
@ proud conservative. No you cant fault a company for trying to minimize costs associated with labor. Especialy when the American consumer rewards then for doing so by purchasing said products. If people want to know why companies produce overseas the answer is because we tell them to. In the movie " who killed the electric car" an LA times auto writer said " if the American consumer demanded that GM produce acar that would run on milk , they would" Meaning companies will do whatever it takes to sell a product at a profit. If the American consumer demanded American made goods all companies would produce here. None are going to when costs are higher and their customer have proven to them time and time again that they realy dont give a damn where its made as long as it cheap. Jobs , high wages , cheap products. pick any 2 . To think we can have all 3 for any sustainable period of time is foolish.


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