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Retro Manufacturing gets big boost from Nevada small business grant

Posted: 6:33 AM, Feb 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-11 14:33:36Z

HENDERSON (KTNV) — For more than a decade, Retro Manufacturing has been making modern radios for classic cars.

“All the new technology that they have in their daily driver, we can put in a radio that looks like it belongs in their car," said Steve Harrington, owner of the 12-year-old company.

Retro is a niche business, yes, but Harrington said his customers come from every corner of the world.

"People like and feel comfortable with something they grew up with and the passion that happens in the U.S. happens all over the world," said Harrington.

Having potential customers all over the world is one thing - being able to reach those customers is another. That’s where the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development has stepped in to help, with a small business grant aimed at helping companies grow not just in the regional market but internationally too.

“The grants are used to expand their products or services - that could be through attending conventions, travel out to different countries, meeting with different folks that may be buying their products or services," said Paul Anderson, the program's executive director.

As it turns out, visiting customers across the country and abroad was exactly what Harrington planned to do with the grant when he applied three years ago. Today, he says the state’s investment has had a big impact on his small business.

“We have grown double digits since we moved here six years ago but it helped us not only grow our business but expand it so it can continue to grow," said Harrington.

Harrington said the grant has also allowed him to not only hire more employees but offer them more attractive packages.

According to the website, the state received $150,000 in federal dollars for the STEP grant program and Anderson said they still have $68,000 to distribute. To qualify for the grant, the small business must be based in Nevada and looking to enter or expand into export markets. More information about the grant can be found at DiversifyNevada.com.