Smaller businesses across the Garden State are expanding their reach around the world thanks in part to a program designed to help them go global.

“We are in a global marketplace now, and we want them to understand the value of expanding their business internationally,” said Melanie Willoughby, the executive director of the New Jersey Business Action Center.

“Doing business just in your home state is no longer going to help you grow exponentially. You really need to expand your horizons because there is so much competition in the marketplace.”

Said many smaller companies need assistance figuring out where they can sell their products in foreign markets and “the New Jersey Business Action Center’s Office of Export Promotion actually helps them navigate that by putting together an export plan."

“Small companies don’t realize their potential and that their products are wanted internationally, so that’s where the Office of Export Promotion comes in, where we can help them identify where their best markets might be.”

Through the State Trade and Export Promotion grant program, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, representatives of smaller New Jersey firms can attend trade shows.

“There are many international trade shows and companies are very interested in going there to be able to demonstrate that their products are very viable in the international stage," she said.

Willoughby said different products may suddenly become in-demand in a number of markets around the world. Many smaller companies headquartered in New Jersey have had success in other countries.

The state’s largest export markets las year were Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, China and Germany, she said. The top exports were chemicals, computer and electronic products and primary-metal products.

Companies can get more information about investigating potential new markets and attending trade shows by calling 800-JERSEY-7 or by visiting the New Jersey Business Action Center website.

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