SHAHEEN AND AYOTTE PROMOTE EXPORTING AS A WAY TO GROW SMALL BUSINESSES AND CREATE JOBS

Senators hold Small Business Field Hearing in New Hampshire

August 11, 2011

(Manchester, NH) – U.S.  Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) hosted a U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship field hearing today to examine ways to help small businesses export and create jobs.

“Our job is to focus on the areas of the economy that will help create jobs now and enhance our long-term competitiveness,” Shaheen said. “I am committed to helping small businesses export. It is a bipartisan, common-sense way to help create jobs now and put the United States in a strong position in the global economy.”

“I appreciated hearing directly from New Hampshire small business owners with real world experience in navigating the complexities of exporting.  Their valuable input on federal trade policies and programs will help policymakers in Washington craft effective policies that enable more small businesses to expand their operations into international markets,” Ayotte said. “It’s imperative that we take a pro-growth approach to helping businesses grow and hire. That includes eliminating onerous regulations and mandates, and opening markets around the world for American businesses, especially small businesses, which comprise over 96 percent of all New Hampshire firms.”

In New Hampshire, exporting has become an increasingly important part of the state’s economy. Last year, New Hampshire companies set a state record for international sales and ranked first among all states in export growth.  New Hampshire firms increased their exports by $1 billion last year. In a difficult economic climate, this new revenue has provided a critical boost to many New Hampshire businesses. 

Exports represent a promising opportunity for growth and job creation in the New Hampshire economy, especially for small businesses. While 95 percent of the world’s customers live overseas, only 1 percent of small businesses sell their products into foreign markets.

Witnesses at today’s hearing discussed the federal government programs available to businesses and how these programs can improve in the future. Specifically, witnesses looked at new resources made available to small businesses through the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and the Small Business Jobs Act. New Hampshire business leaders also discussed the experiences and challenges related to growing their companies by increasing exports.

The witnesses at today’s hearing were:

Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator, Small Business Administration

Wanda Felton, Vice Chair, Export-Import Bank of the United States

James Cox, Regional Director, U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, Department of Commerce

Dawn Wivell, Director, New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center

Grace Preston, International Sales Manager, Secure Care

Richard Friedman, President and CEO, Carpenter & Company, Inc.

Thomas Moulton, President and CEO, Sleepnet Corporation

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