New Hyde Park-based North Shore International Inc., was recently recognized as the New York regional and state exporter of the year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Jorge Silva-Puras, SBA’s New York regional administrator, said that North Shore was selected based on criteria that reviews a company’s increase in sales and growth as a result of exporting, creative overseas marketing strategies, and encouraging other small businesses to export.
It was the federal Small Business Administration that enabled the business to achieve $9 million in sales of spare parts, equipment and accessories for the oil and gas, power generation and telecommunications networking industries to clients in the Middle East, according to Edward Kezys, president of North Shore.
“Definitely a big part of it was the Small Business Administration,” Kezys said. “They granted us an export working capital line of credit which enabled us to build the business.”
Since being established in 2004, the company’s initial $500,000 line of credit has been increased to $3.75 million, Kezys said, through a Small Business Administration export working capital loan from TD Bank.
He said the company’s export sales were concentrated in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar in 2011. Now, Kezys said, the company is exploring prospects of expanding its business into Libya.
“We’re working with the U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce to see how we can get involved there,” he said.
Kezys started his career 24 years ago working for a company that was dealing in exports to Russia and countries in South American. Seven years later, he said he went to work for a company that focused on exports to countries in the Middle East.
After the Iraq war, Kezys said he jump-started North Shore International by helping to rebuild the country.
The company, originally based in Bayside, Queens, relocated to its current location at 1855 Imperial Ave. in New Hyde Park three years ago.
It also maintains an office in Amman, Jordan and recently opened another office in Baghdad, Iraq.
“We can do more business locally,” he said. “It’s just a lot more business when you can manage it from there locally.”
With an overseas presence, Kezys said he expects North Shore to exceed last year’s sales of $9 million this year or next year.