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Take a STEP into Exporting

The global market for aerospace and defense industry products made right here in New Hampshire is heating up.

             At the same time, the state’s Office of International Commerce has a key ingredient for businesses looking to take advantage of overseas opportunities – grants to help them make that leap.

            Investing some time and using the funding to check out what the world has to offer can have these businesses flying high and landing products around the globe.

            The OIC received a State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant that can help small and medium sized companies serving the aerospace and defense sectors cover the cost of market research overseas.  For eligible companies, these grants, provided in partnership with US Commercial Services, can save up to $700, as they begin the process of marketing their product in foreign markets and screening the responses.

            “We know there is an intimidation factor,” said Tina Kasim, program manager for the OIC. “We know that some of the regulatory aspects for many exports are a barrier for companies. But now is the time for many of them to jump into the overseas market and there is financial help available to make that happen.”

            In 2011, aerospace components were the ninth largest commodity exported from New Hampshire to countries around the world. Trade missions from China, Turkey and Taiwan to the Granite State in the past month illustrate the interest there is in products made here.

            “They look here, specifically, for US-made products and they know that New Hampshire is on the leading edge of new technology,” Kasim said.

            The assistance available, and underwritten by the STEP grant, provides individualized research on the markets where a company’s product is in demand.

            “We have the money for market research specifically for aerospace and defense,” she said. “This STEP grant for these sectors does the initial ground work for the companies, like determining whether certain countries have the right market for those components and products, what the competition looks like and a look at local regulations there and how it affects companies here.”

            Despite a soft global economy over the past year, New Hampshire companies that export have been doing well.

            “During our economic downturn, companies and manufacturers looked overseas to secure and diversify their markets,” Kasim said. “In many cases, this enabled them to retain their workforce, if not create more jobs right here at home.”

            For more information about how the STEP grant can help your business, contact Kasim at 603-271-8444 or tina.kasim@dred.state.nh.us or Justin Oslowski of the US Department of Commerce at Justin.Oslowski@trade.gov or 603-953-0210.

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