NJ announces program to increase small business exports


Improvements in communication and transportation make the world smaller every day. For example, the Internet and air freight mean that a business can communicate with customers on the other side of the world at any time and get the goods to them quickly. Along with that trend come new opportunities for New Jersey businesses.

To make sure New Jersey makes the most of those new prospects, the state has recently announced an initiative that would benefit closely held businesses as well as other small companies.

The initiative, which is federally financed, will provide advice, training and funding for small companies doing business in foreign markets. Known as the New Jersey State Trade and Export Promotion, the initiative plans to use more than $200,000 in federal grants to support small companies' first steps abroad through taking trips and even participating in international trade shows.

Currently New Jersey ranks fifth in the country in small-business exports, largely thanks to its prominent ports as well as its access to road and rail. However, international competition will get tougher. That is why New Jersey is seeking ways to boost its exports, according to the executive director of the Business Action Center, which oversees international trade development in New Jersey.

To qualify for funding, New Jersey small businesses will meet with state advisers. Those that qualify can ask for grants to pay for meetings and trips designed to open international markets to the company's goods or services.

Though relatively small, the grant represents one of the first significant initiatives for the International Business Development and Protocol, which falls within the international business component of the Business Action Center's umbrella.

The initiative is just one of many programs and considerations a closely business needs to consider as it grows.

Source: The Record, " State program to aid would-be exporters," Juliet Fletcher, Sept. 27, 2012