N.J. offers free resources, tools to support global trade

New Jersey Business Action Center is offering export assistance to small and midsized businesses in state through NJ STEP program.

Is your New Jersey small business looking to reach customers overseas? The New Jersey Business Action Center Office of Export Promotion has the resources and tools to help.

Through the New Jersey State Trade Expansion Program, or NJ STEP, which is funded in part through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the NJBAC offers an opportunity to help Small Business Enterprises receive financial awards to offset export promotion costs partially. This includes expenses related to the internationalization of website and e-commerce fees, design of international marketing media, participation in international trade missions and trade events, as well as fees for services provided by the U.S. Commercial Service.

The NJBAC prides itself on helping businesses succeed and recognizes the NJ STEP program as a key initiative for helping small businesses expand their international reach with exporting. The program has assisted numerous companies across New Jersey with their exporting goals.

One example is the NJ STEP funding awarded to Nouveautes Inc., the parent company of Immunity Goodness, located in Fairfield, which manufactures 100% Belgian chocolate and specializes in white- and private-label manufacturing of infused chocolate. The business connected with a large audience of consumers at an NJBAC-sponsored trade show last September and has since expanded into international sales with the help of the NJ STEP grant.

“We’ve had the honor to work closely with the export promotion team. They assisted us with funding to expand to international markets,” CEO David Little said. “This funding allowed us to interface with prospective clients. As a result, our business has grown tremendously as we’ve been able to tap a global market.”

CAREOX LLC, a Princeton-based company, was another recipient of two NJ STEP grants. With the help of NJ STEP funding, Young Kim — CEO and president of CAREOX — could attend trade shows to reach potential new customers, grow the company with more employees and begin exporting products to a dozen European countries, Asia and the Middle East. In addition, CAREOX has also opened a research & development center in Princeton, where it will work to develop new products. Kim believes that NJBAC and the STEP grant played a critical role in his export success.

“As a result of the NJBAC Export Promotion team, our company now participates successfully in the global medical sensors and respiratory care product market, and people turn to us for our expertise and quality product,” Kim said. “The STEP funds have helped launch us into new countries and increased revenue opportunities.”

A current focus of the NJBAC is exporting food and beverages. The NJBAC is inviting “new to export” companies from across the state to learn about exporting and be part of its initiative to expand exports by New Jersey food and beverage manufacturers. Even if it’s only been a passing thought to export, we invite you to reach out and see whether this grant opportunity could be for you. As part of its NJ STEP program, eligible companies must be owned by minorities, women, veterans, or service-disabled veterans. Support could include readiness training and inclusion in the Fancy Food Show, the largest U.S. show devoted to specialty foods and beverages. Other covered expenses can consist of include building e-commerce sites and marketing materials.

The benefits of exporting include increased revenue, a diversified revenue stream and an expansion of product offerings for local preferences. With a deep understanding of the current business landscape, the NJBAC can connect your business to the appropriate experts to help you reach your goals. Every small business in New Jersey deserves the opportunity to find success and we at the NJBAC are here to make sure that happens.

The NJ STEP program is currently accepting applications. To download the application, please visit the New Jersey State Trade Expansion Program website and email completed forms to the NJ STEP program at njstep@sos.nj.gov.

For information on the NJBAC and how its services can help your business reach its full potential, please visit nj.gov/state/BAC or call 800-JERSEY-7.

Operating under the leadership of Executive Director Melanie Willoughby, the New Jersey Business Action Center, housed within the New Jersey Department of State, is the “one-stop-shop” for businesses to access a variety of resources and support.