Woonsocket-based Aidance Skincare & Topical Solutions LLC, which designs and manufactures therapeutic skin-care products, has been doing business with Israel since the company began seven years ago, but without exporting goods there.
That is about to change, due in part to a $496,066 federal grant that the Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University received recently. The funds will help small and medium-sized businesses in the Ocean State increase exports, officials have said, and provide financial support for three trade missions overseas.
The first of those missions was due to leave the state Nov. 4 for a 10-day visit to Israel. Among the 20 local business representatives that make up the Rhode Island delegation was David P. Goldsmith, founder and chief business-development officer of Aidance, which has 18 employees.
Representatives of Aidance visit Israel regularly, Goldsmith said, because his business obtains some supplies there, such as raw materials, product boxes and jars. His goal as part of the Rhode Island trade mission, he told Providence Business News, is “to get the ball rolling so we can start exporting to Israel.”
Despite the company’s own visits to the Middle East, Goldsmith said being part of a formal Rhode Island trade delegation will open new doors.
“We’ve already got so much out of it,” Goldsmith said of the trade mission several days before it departed. “We’ve been put in touch with a specialist in the medical field at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and she’s already lining up interviews for us” with potential Israeli business partners and distributors.
Aidance’s therapeutic products treat such ailments as acne, bedsores, diabetic ulcers, wounds and scars. A new therapeutic line for dogs, cats, horses and farm animals awaits U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval, expected in a few months, Goldsmith said. His Israeli contacts “have expressed extreme interest” in the latter, he added, making it a promising product to export.
Rhode Island ranked 14th out of 50 states with exports totaling $1.33 billion for the first seven months of 2011, the most recent data available from the Chafee Center. Officials hope that the state’s export rate could double by 2014 due to the federal grant. Full-year totals previously were: $1.97 billion in 2008; $1.5 billion in 2009; and $1.95 billion in 2010.