Granite State Business Owner Tom Blais: "It’s huge to go"
Nashua Telegraph Editorial: The Governor "chose the more responsible of the choices that were before her. Now that the decision has been made, the important thing is that everyone have a safe trip and that they build the kind of relationships with their Turkish counterparts that open doors and result in an increase in trade for businesses seeking new trading partners."
Q: Businesses going on the trade mission have to pay their own way, and I also understand a fee to the state. So why not just go on your own? Is there a benefit to having a state dignitary like Governor Hassan coming along?
A: This is what people don’t understand the most. It’s huge to go. Particularly if you’re a small business. Big business has a lot more reach. But small business, a critical ingredient is credibility. When we travel with the governor, whether it was with Steve Merrill years ago, or Governor Hassan, we’re allowed to get in the room with critical decision-makers in these countries that we wouldn’t ordinarily get into. The state is able to connect with the right groups. In this case, we’re going with a Turkish businesspersons’ group called TUSKON. And their reach across Turkey is legendary. So our ability to connect with TUSKON, with the credibility angle from the state, particularly with Governor Hassan, allows us to get in the room—I’m going to meet the head of Search and Rescue, for the entire country of Turkey. That would not happen. And to be able to meet with the largest manufacturer of ATVs in Turkey, that probably wouldn’t happen. These are big deals for small business. And I encourage other small business in New Hampshire to make this effort. I know it’s time consuming, I know it’s expensive. But it pays off.”