U.S. Markets closed

Kuster introduces bill to expand NH export program

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster has introduced a bill to help boost small business exports in the state.

The bill would expand the State Trade and Export Promotion program, which has helped more than 60 New Hampshire companies expand their exports and create jobs.

The program, which was started in 2010 and will expire on Sept. 30 without Congressional action, helps businesses attend international trade shows, supports export training programs, and assists with the development of international marketing materials.

The bill would extend the program for another three years, and double the federal funding available each year from $30 million to $60 million.

To date, New Hampshire has received nearly $600,000 in federal funds to assist to local companies through the program.

"Since its inception, the STEP program has helped companies in New Hampshire and around the country grow and send their products all around the world," Kuster, a member of the House Small Business Committee, said in a statement. "Extending and expanding this program will help even more Granite State businesses export their goods, create middle class jobs, and grow our economy."

Paul Vermette, president of Tech Resources, a Milford defense firm, is using a STEP grant to help launch a website for a new line of communications technology for military aircraft and ground vehicles.

"We don't have a very large presence on the Internet," he said. "This funding is going to have a big impact helping us reach possible customers around the world."