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Want to do business worldwide but don’t where to start? Meet the government agency that really helps seriously

Susan Widmer, director, Northern N.J. Export Assistance Center.

It’s a government program that makes him feel like he’s actually getting “amazing value” out of his tax dollars.

The words came out of Thomas Britten — a businessman, of all people, and one from the notoriously high-tax Garden State — like a bolt from the blue.

Because he was being serious.

Of course, any businessperson who could cite a service that assisted his company in successfully exporting to 22 untapped markets overseas, as Britten can, would perhaps say the same.

That was the product of working with the northern New Jersey iteration of the U.S. Export Assistance Center, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service operation.

This is a service that doesn’t allocate resources to advertising itself, but the businesses that do use it are more than willing to do all the promotion themselves. And as globalization parades on — inviting businesses of all types and sizes to step outside U.S. boundaries — any easier route to markets overseas is bound to be met with some trumpeting.

“It’s actually something I couldn’t imagine trying to do international business without now,” said Britten, CEO of Scimedx Corporation.

Britten sought the center’s services to expand the global presence of Scimedx, a manufacturer of autoimmune and infectious disease tests. In just the past two years, the Denville-based company utilized the program as an entry into Asia Pacific, the Benelux region of Europe and Chile.

The offerings of the U.S. Commercial Service — many of which are free — include counseling, market research, business matchmaking, contacts and trade leads and advocacy.

“I tell people all the time: If you’re not taking advantage of (this) while you’re trying to get outside the country, you’re going to be throwing money away,” Britten said. “This is a key part of making international business work.”

Susan Widmer, director of the Northern New Jersey Export Assistance Center, explained that the Commercial Service connects companies such as Scimedx to international buyers through its network of 108 offices across the country and its more than 70 offices abroad.

Brett Johnson

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