Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Roy Cooper presented five North Carolina companies with 2017 Governor’s Export Awards during a ceremony today at the Executive Mansion. The awards recognize the companies’ dedication to growing their businesses through exporting, a practice which supports thousands of jobs across the state.
The 2017 Governor’s Export Award Winners include:
North Carolina’s export of goods and services supports more than 370,000 jobs in the state, according to the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
“Exporting our goods and services into the global marketplace plays an important role in growing jobs and our economy,” Gov. Cooper said. “This year’s Export Awards honor companies whose products and ideas represent North Carolina’s strong business reputation around the world.”
The Governor’s Office developed the export award program in collaboration with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) and the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The state’s international trade development team is based at EDPNC.
Five companies were recognized for 2017, representing companies of various size and international experience:
• Therafirm in Richmond County
• Blue Ridge Chair Works in Buncombe County
• Frontier Spinning Mills in Lee County
• Tri-Tech Forensics in Brunswick County
• New Growth Designs in Pitt County
Despite their differences, each of these companies have one thing in common – they each turned to the EDPNC’s international trade division for help in achieving their export goals. The EDPNC provides trade advice and support to companies at no charge, an offer which is particularly attractive for small businesses in North Carolina.
“Our international trade team is here to prepare new exporters through export education workshops, market research and market-entry strategies while also supporting more advanced exporters looking for new distributors at international trade shows,” said John Loyack, EDPNC Vice President for Global Business Services. “Many North Carolina companies treat our team like trusted advisers.”
The team includes five North Carolina-based international trade managers ‒ each of whom specializes in specific industry sectors ‒ and representatives in North Carolina’s international trade offices located in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, China. All told, the state’s trade team assisted 559 North Carolina companies in 2017, located in 80 counties across the state.
“The EDPNC provides vital resources to small businesses looking to expand into international markets that might not have the ability or know-how to do so on their own,” said Rich Cherry, sales logistics manager of New Growth Designs, a high-end artificial greenery manufacturer and winner of the Top New Exporter award.
“We received EDPNC’s assistance in September to present our products at the Dubai Hotel Show,” said Cherry. “In addition to financial assistance for our travel expenses, we benefitted from their export expertise and the business connections they arranged prior to our arrival. As a result, we are seeing new interest from this region where the demand for ‘Made in the USA’ goods is strong.”
New Growth Designs, Top New Exporter. Out of its home in Greenville, New Growth Designs manufactures artificial greenery and flower arrangements that are sought by today’s best-known designers and featured in some of the world’s finest luxury stores, museums, and hotels.
Therafirm, Top Rural Exporter. A division of Knit-Rite Inc., Hamlet-based Therafirm manufactures specialized compression hosiery for a variety of markets including the medical and sports industries. The company has been highly successful in dozens of foreign markets around the world.
Blue Ridge Chair Works, Top Small Business Exporter. Based in Asheville, Blue Ridge Chair Works manufactures portable outdoor furniture for campers, hotels, and other customers that value quality and comfort. The company’s growing foreign sales now account for a large share of its business.
Frontier Spinning Mills, Top Large Business Exporter. Frontier Spinning Mills in Sanford has become one of the world’s largest producers of spun yarns for the knitting and weaving industries. The veteran exporter and longstanding EDPNC client offers a diverse product line to customers worldwide. The company stays competitive by applying state-of-the-art automated technology and innovation to every phase of the yarn-manufacturing process.
Tri-Tech Forensics, Top Global Reach Exporter. Tri-Tech Forensics in Leland manufactures forensics products for law enforcement. From fingerprinting and evidence-collection systems to personal protection equipment, the company is an essential part of public safety in a wide range of countries. It exports to almost 50 countries.