New Provincial Funding Supports Small Business Export Sales

NOTE: Small Business Week, Oct. 15 to 21, is an annual event that recognizes the importance of small and medium-sized businesses.

A Nova Scotia sign company is experiencing growing export sales, contributing to increased staffing here at home.

Eyecandy SIGNS INC. of Halifax expanded its products and hired more people thanks in part to export support from Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI).

“eyecandy SIGNS INC., based in the vibrant north end of Halifax, is proud to be a local business that’s going global,” said Allison Moz, partner, eyecandy SIGNS INC. “We expanded our product line in 2006 from the artistic boutique sign we’re so well known for to now include navigation systems. With the support of the Export Growth Program we’ve developed an export marketing plan, travelled into new markets with NSBI, and we’ll be heading into export markets again this year at a time when accessibility requirements are being legislated across Canada.”

Now competing on a national stage eyecandy SIGNS INC. recently supplied more than 4,000 braille signs to the Oakville Hospital in Ontario. The company has recruited new talent to support this growth and today employs 12 staff.

“Small businesses are exporting, growing, and creating jobs. When we help small businesses grow, we build a stronger Nova Scotia,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Business. “We want to be an enabling partner to encourage small businesses to export and to help exporting companies increase their exports because this leads to the kind of growth we all want.”

The province recently invested more money in the Export Growth Program so more businesses can find customers in other markets. This support will help with the cost of trade shows and conferences, travel to markets, and partnering on trade missions.

“We want Nova Scotian companies to begin selling or increase their sales outside our province,” said Laurel Broten, president and CEO of NSBI. “We have seen a number of success stories already, with companies like eyecandy SIGNS INC. creating new markets for their products. We want that number to grow, so companies make more sales, have higher profits, and stay in business longer.”

Increased and new export programs offered by NSBI include the following: 
— $500,000 more for the Export Growth Program (total $1.5 million)
— $500,000 to double the Small Business Development Program (total $1 million)
— $250,000 commitment to the Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy, including the development of an Export Growth Accelerator Program (total $440,000).

For more information on NSBI’s export growth programs,