Sydor Optics uses STEP to Step up its International Sales

Matthew Sydor smiles at the camera, standing in front of complex machinery.

For three generations, Sydor Optics has been on the leading edge of the optics industry. The family-owned Rochester manufacturing company specializes in custom flat optical components for a variety of industries including aerospace, defense, semi-conductor, and medical. The 93- employee company’s list of successful projects includes work on the Mt. Palomar Observatory’s 200-inch telescope mirror, world-wide installation of the Baker-Nunn Satellite Tracking Network, and, more recently, making windows for the Orion space missions. 

With a SBA 504 loan in 1997, Sydor acquired a new facility in Rochester, NY to support its growing business and in the early in the 2000’s, Sydor continued to expand reaching customers outside the United States. 

Using SBA’s Export Working Capital Loan, they secured funding for international purchase orders, enabling the company to begin selling their products worldwide. Following that success, Sydor learned about SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program “STEP” funds, administered through New York State, which help small businesses break down barriers to exporting by providing grants to cover the costs associated with entering and expanding into international markets. 

“Utilizing the SBA’s STEP program, we attended the Laser World of Photonics trade show in Munich, Germany where we were able to develop a large number of solid leads to facilitate international sales,” said Matthew Sydor, Program Manager. “One meeting resulted in one of our salespeople traveling to Israel to meet with seven potential customers.” 

Currently Sydor is applying for additional SBA STEP funding to travel to another global Photonics trade show in 2024, as well as fund necessary international business regulation training to Sydor employees. “STEP offers small businesses a great opportunity to expand their international business without putting a large burden on their finances” Mr. Sydor said. 

With the support of SBA STEP funding, Sydor Optics has set their sights on becoming a global supplier of choice for high precision optics.

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.