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.