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Garrett Leather gets $5,000 boost for exporting

Garrett Leather in Cheektowaga wants to do more exporting, and it's getting a boost from a Small Business Administration program.

Garrett was awarded $5,000 through the SBA's state trade expansion program, also known as STEP. The SBA awarded a $700,000 STEP grant to Empire State Development, which essentially matched those funds and then distributed the money to companies such as Garrett.

"They're very small grants," said R.J. Ball, Empire State Development's senior director of industry development and foreign trade. "They're meant to be motivators to start exporting."

Garrett attends an annual trade show in Switzerland that focuses on the business jet industry, which is a key source of customers for the leather products company. The grant helps the company offset those expenses.

Franklin J. Sciortino, the SBA's Buffalo district director, called the $18 million in STEP grants the SBA awarded last year to 41 state international trade agencies a "perfect example" of SBA activity "that does have effect."

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