Federal grant to aid N.H. exporters

New Hampshire will receive a nearly $300,000 grant aimed at helping small businesses in the state increase their exports by reaching new markets.The funding comes from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant program, which was created by the Small Business Jobs Act.The grant award was announced by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.The STEP grant will enhance the state International Trade Resource Center’s efforts to help small businesses in New Hampshire prepare for new markets, comply with trade regulations, access export financing, and attend trade missions. With the grant, the ITRC will create specialized programs to focus on foreign markets that have the highest growth potential and industries that have the greatest and most immediate ability to compete successfully in the world marketplace. “This grant is well-tailored to New Hampshire’s economy because it will help more businesses reach two fast-growing markets, China and India, while also encouraging more export growth in aerospace and defense,” Shaheen said.The STEP program was designed to support the efforts of state and local export assistance programs, which help small businesses overcome obstacles that may stand in the way of getting access to foreign markets, such as a lack of expertise or resources. — JEFF FEINGOLD/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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