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SBA Selects North American Tapes, LLC as Exporter of the Year
North Country Business Recognized For Global Success
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The U.S. Small Business Administration Syracuse District Office has selected Darrin Prance, founder and president of North American Tapes, LLC in Watertown, N.Y., as the winner of the 2014 Exporter of the Year Award. Nominated by KeyBank, Prance was chosen for the award based on his North Country company’s increase in international sales.
Twelve years ago, tape-industry veteran Darrin Prance started his own business after the local tape plant in Watertown, NY was sold and closed. Prance launched the company with the help of business partner Martin LeMoine, business counseling from the Watertown Small Business Development Center, and an SBA 504 loan for equipment from NYBDC and KeyBank.
Today, the startup has grown into North American Tapes, LLC, a manufacturer of adhesive tapes for athletic, industrial, and entertainment markets worldwide with 26 employees and annual sales growth of 15 percent. North American Tapes is best known for its cotton-backed hockey tapes and has become the second largest producer of hockey tape in the world. Players of all skill level prefer North American products for their hockey sticks and shin pads, including 25 NHL teams.
An SBA Export Express line of credit from KeyBank enabled North American Tapes to pursue additional Canadian and European customers such as Lowry, Home Hardware and Source for Sports. Exporting now accounts for over 40 percent of corporate sales, and the company’s recently approved Foreign Trade Zone status from the U.S. Department of Commerce will help the company compete with tape products from Canada, Brazil and China.
Prance will receive the Syracuse District award at SBA’s annual awards luncheon on May 5 at The Doubletree Hotel in East Syracuse.
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