Stright-MacKay nominated for provincial exporter of year

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NEW GLASGOW – Nova Scotia is giving the nod to a New Glasgow-based marine equipment distribution company.

Stright-MacKay has won a 2014 Regional Award celebrating excellence in exporting. The hardware will be received at the 30th annual Export Achievement Awards on May 29 in Halifax.

The awards highlight nine companies that are leading by example. One will receive Exporter of the Year. This year's nominees have already been recognized in their communities by regional chambers of commerce, including Stright-MacKay, which received the Export Recognition Award last fall.

“We’re flattered really,” said Peter Bennett, president of Stright-MacKay. “We’re up against some great companies so it was a surprise and an honour.”

Bennett attributes his company’s win to continued refinement and development of what they do best: the distribution of marine equipment. Stright-MacKay has also acquired a few businesses in Upper Canada, expanding their clientele and reach.

“We’re the largest distributor of marine equipment east of Montreal. While it’s mainly commercial, we’ve spread out into recreational products.”

The other 2014 regional award recipients are Scothorn Farms Ltd., Hardwood Lands, Hants Co.; OTS Ltd., Sydney; Dalton Industries, Truro; RPS Composites Inc., Lunenburg; Ocean Leader Fisheries, Lower Wedgeport, Yarmouth Co.; Nova-Agri, Canning, Kings Co.; Guys Frenchys, Digby; and Clearwater Seafoods, Halifax

According to Export Development Canada's Global Export Forecast, an improving U.S. economy and a lower Canadian dollar will help spur Nova Scotia's exports ahead by eight per cent in 2014, and an additional three per cent in 2015.

"Congratulations to all the companies for their excellence in exporting," said Michel Samson, minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. "Government understands the importance exporting has to our province. Exporting drives growth in revenues for businesses and increases competitiveness both domestically and internationally."

"Exports are a major engine of economic growth and critical to Canada's long-term prosperity. Nova Scotia's exporters are fuelling that growth through the accomplishments being celebrated at the 2014 Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards," said Rob Moore, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency).

Bennett said it would be an honour to be selected as exporter of the year. It’s not unprecedented, as New Glasgow business Velsoft was awarded exporter of the year for 2013.

“The other eight nominees are fine companies,” he said. “The people that work here are Pictou County based and we think it's a great place to work and be with our families.”

This year's Exporter of the Year will join a group of past winners that include Velsoft in 2013, Clearwater in 2012 and TeamSpace in 2011.

The keynote speaker is James Surrette, president of Surrette Battery in Springhill. It is Canada's only independent battery manufacturer and one of the industry leaders in North America. The worldwide demand for renewable energy makes their eco-friendly batteries more viable than ever for trade in international markets.

"Nova Scotia businesses are gaining momentum in the global market. Since 2007, NSBI has worked with close to 600 businesses through trade missions, programs and services," said Ron Smith, interim CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. "We are proud of the great businesses across this province and are excited to highlight their success."

The awards ceremony is presented by Nova Scotia Business Inc. and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and will be at the World Trade and Convention Centre, 1800 Argyle St., from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on the awards and to purchase tickets, visit www.exportachievementawards.com .

Organizations: Scothorn Farms, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Hants Co. OTS Dalton Industries Nova Scotia Business Yarmouth Co. Kings Co. Clearwater Seafoods Export Development Canada World Trade and Convention Centre

Geographic location: Halifax, Canada, Nova Scotia Montreal Sydney Lunenburg Wedgeport U.S. New Glasgow Springhill North America

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