New Hampshire trade office gets new federal export grant
This time, $225,000 in STEP funds will be used for helping firms with virtual outreach abroad
New Hampshire’s Office of International Commerce has been awarded $225,000 in State Trade Expansion Program grants to assist Granite State companies interested in increasing exports and reaching new international markets.
The announcement from U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the federal program Shaheen helped create back in 2010 to help small businesses enter new markets, access export financing and attend trade missions.
Over the last 10 years, 435 New Hampshire small businesses have participated in the STEP program, supporting $82 million in sales.
Geophysical Survey Systems Inc., a Nashua company that develops ground=penetrating radar technology, has used STEP grants since 2008 to appoint representatives in Asia, Central and South America, Europe and the Middle East.
Foxx Life Sciences, a single-use plastics manufacturer in Londonderry, has used the grant to develop relationships with biopharma and laboratory customers in over 30 countries.
And New England Wire in Lisbon has used the grant for several years to defray trade show and exhibit expenses, allow them to “explore new markets, procure new international sales prospects, and develop and grow existing relationships with customers and our manufacturing representative partners,” said Craig Simpson, strategic planning and business development director.
Since 2017, the Office of International Commerce reports STEP clients have generated 602 New Hampshire jobs over a three-year period and access 75 international markets.
“Over the last decade, the STEP program has had tremendous success in New Hampshire,” said Shaheen. “Reflecting on the impact of the STEP program in New Hampshire reaffirms why I fought so hard to establish this program and is why I have worked over the years to secure its continued funding, including for today’s award.
The $225,000 award is approximately the same amount New Hampshire has received in past years, however, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, companies will not be traveling internationally.
“We expect businesses will use the grants to enhance their digital strategies,” said Tina Kasim, program manager at the Office of International Commerce. “Instead of attending a trade show in Europe or the Middle East, businesses will have opportunities through virtual trade shows and STEP funding will be able to help them have the tools and strategies for success.”
She added that her office “has great partners at the local, state and federal levels, and while we always make sure we all work seamlessly for the exporters, those relationships, joint counseling and new programming are more important now than before in order to keep businesses growing.”