ICYMI – In NH Business Review: Shaheen, NH Businesses Reflect on STEP Program’s 10-Year Anniversary and its Impact on NH

October 05, 2020

**NHBR: “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”** 

**Shaheen also announced $225K STEP grant for NH Office of International Commerce**

(Washington, DC) – Last week, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship and Appropriations Committees, announced that the Small Business Administration (SBA) awarded the Office of International Commerce (OIC) at the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development $225,000 through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), which helps New Hampshire businesses increase exports and better reach international markets. New Hampshire Business Review covered the 10-year anniversary of the program and the latest award announcement, which can be read in full here.

Senator Shaheen helped to create the STEP pilot program in 2010 to help small businesses enter new markets, access export financing and attend trade missions. The program was fully authorized by Shaheen’s small business trade amendment, which was signed into law in 2016. Senator Shaheen has prioritized efforts in Congress to help small businesses boost their exports and was also the first New Hampshire Governor to lead trade missions outside of North America.

The award coincides with the 10-year anniversary week of the creation of the STEP program. Over the last 10 years, the STEP program has had a lasting impact in New Hampshire:

  • 435 Granite State companies have participated in the STEP program
  • $2,150,314 through STEP to support Granite State businesses’ export efforts
  • $82 million in sales by New Hampshire businesses have been supported by STEP

In addition, since it began tracking these statistics in 2017, the OIC has found that:

  • 602 NH jobs have been created and retained over the 3 year period by STEP clients
  • 75 international markets over the 3 year period have been accessed by STEP clients

“Over the last decade, the STEP program has had tremendous success in New Hampshire. Hundreds of Granite State businesses have received significant resources and assistance to expand their reach into the international marketplace. Investing in New Hampshire companies’ export efforts has been critical to helping them grow, strengthening our economy and creating new jobs. Building on this progress will be especially important in the months and years ahead to help our state fight its way back from the current economic crisis,” 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 this award. As more Granite State businesses seek to enter new markets and international demand for their innovative products rises, I’m certain that the STEP program will continue to make a real difference in New Hampshire. I’ll keep reaching across the aisle to ensure funding for STEP remains a congressional priority.”

The following are testimonials from Granite State businesses that have benefited from the STEP program over the years:

Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc (GSSI), Nashua

“The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant continues to be an invaluable and extremely cost effective resource for GSSI to research, interview and appoint international representatives. Since 2008, GSSI has successfully utilized the STEP Grant to appoint many representatives in Asia, Central and South America, Europe and the Middle East. In addition to the exceptional local support provided here in New Hampshire, we have come to rely on the consistently excellent level of services provided by the various in-country embassies.” Paul Fowler, VP Sales & Marketing

New England Wire, Lisbon

“We have been a recipient of the STEP grant for several years and have used the funding in a variety of capacities to enable sales growth and expansion into international markets.  The funding has been used to defray tradeshow and exhibit expenses in regions we are both currently selling into and new regions we are beginning to explore, and also to assist with meeting prospective manufacturing representative partners for us to collaborate with in these areas..  These opportunities have allowed us to explore new markets, procure new international sales prospects, and develop and grow existing relationships with customers and our manufacturing representative partners.” – Craig Simpson, Strategic Planning & Business Development Director

Foxx Life Sciences, Londonderry

“The STEP Grant has helped Foxx Life Sciences expand globally.  We now have BioPharm and Laboratory customers in over 30 countries. Our brand awareness has dramatically increased around the world with the support of the SBA and State Government.” – Thomas Taylor, President & CEO

Read the full story on the 10-year anniversary of the STEP program and the federal grant awarded in the NHBR here, or in full below.

 

New Hampshire trade office gets new federal export grant

By LIISA RAJALA

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.”