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(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hosted Donald F. Tyler, Director of Corfin Industries, LLC, from Salem, New Hampshire at a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing today to highlight how expanding export opportunities can help small businesses grow and create jobs. Tyler specifically discussed the impact of the State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) pilot program on Corfin and its role in helping Corfin reach new costumers overseas.

“Helping small businesses expand their exports and reach new markets is critical to New Hampshire’s economy,” Shaheen said. “Helping our small businesses export isn’t a partisan issue. It’s about growing our economy and creating jobs, and helping our economy stay competitive. And as our experience in New Hampshire has shown, the investment we make in our small businesses to help them export provides significant returns for our economy and job creation.”

Since 2012, the State of New Hampshire has received a little more than $600,000 through the STEP program, an investment that has turned into $3.7 million in export sales to date. STEP has provided nearly 300 New Hampshire companies with support, including training, market research and matching grants.

“Today Corfin’s non-domestic sales is a significant component of our overall growth,” Tyler said. “International sales increased from less than two percent of our overall revenue three years ago to over twelve percent today, all while expanding overall revenue almost 30 percent.  The non-domestic growth corresponds to 22 additional full-time employees, a direct result of the STEP grant funding.”  

As a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Shaheen has made supporting small business and expanding exports one of her top priorities in Washington. Last year, the committee passed Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation to permanently reauthorize the SBA 504 refinance program, which supported nearly 500 loans for a total of $144 million dollars in New Hampshire in FY 2013 alone. Shaheen has also won long-term reauthorization for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) which is a program that allows more, small innovative businesses to compete for federal research and development programs. 

In addition to helping create the STEP program, Shaheen introduced the Small Business Export Growth Act to help small businesses capitalize on export opportunities by removing red tape and improve federal export assistance programs for small businesses. Last year, New Hampshire companies ranked first among all states in export growth. New Hampshire firms had $4.3 billion in exports – a 22 percent increase.