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GeoTemps Inc. Director of Client Operations Sarah Lightner, left, and President/CEO Lance Taylor, right, introduce corporate and geologic artifacts to a visitor at the company’s Reno headquarters in this 2017 file photo.

LAS VEGAS – The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development awarded Jan. 31 more than $50,000 in federal grant money from the U.S. Small Business Administration to eight Nevada businesses — including one in Elko — to assist them in developing and entering overseas markets, supporting Gov. Steve Sisolak’s efforts to help small business thrive.

GOED approved the applications for the funding through the Small Business Administration’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program. A total of $125,000 in federal funding is available through the program for small businesses. The eight businesses estimated that the funding will help them generate up to $2.5 million in foreign sales.

“My administration is committed to helping Nevada’s small businesses continue to grow and prosper. I am confident that helping our small businesses expand to foreign markets will only make Nevada’s economy stronger,” Sisolak said. “I know these eight businesses will put this money to good use to positively impact their communities and our state as a whole.”

The businesses were awarded a total of $56,995 to provide them with the tools and information they need to succeed in export-related expansion. The funding will be used for pre-approved export expenses such as foreign market sales trips, trade show activities, international marketing materials, export trade show exhibits, overseas interpreters and training workshops.

“We want to use the federal funding to support Nevada’s small businesses’ efforts to expand into international markets,” said GOED Executive Director Paul Anderson. “As Nevada’s economy evolves, expansion into other countries will help our economy diversify and better weather future downturns.”

The following businesses were awarded grants:

  • Bon Tool, a contractor-grade tool manufacturer with a distribution center in Henderson, was awarded $5,000
  • Geotemps, a recruiting service for the minerals and energy industries based in Elko, was awarded $5,000
  • Pet International, a pet supply export company based in Nevada, was awarded $10,000
  • Quality Corrections and Inspections, a high-volume inspection rework company, serving footwear, apparel and consumer goods industries with an office in Henderson, was awarded $10,000
  • Retro Manufacturing, a manufacturer of audio and safety products for classic cars based in Henderson, was awarded $10,000
  • Universal Industries, a distribution service for home furnishings to furniture and mattress retailers based in Las Vegas, was awarded $5,000
  • Free Brands, an all-natural deodorant manufacturer based in Las Vegas, was awarded $10,000
  • Hickory Ridge Group, a research company that provides economics studies and analytics-related corporate and government training based in Las Vegas, was awarded $1,995

Since the beginning of the STEP program seven years ago, about $138 million in grants have been awarded nationwide to fund export opportunities and globally increase the footprint of small businesses.

Nevada first started getting STEP grant funding in 2012, and since 2015 more than $220,000 has been awarded to more than 45 local, small businesses generating more than $1.7 million in revenue.

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