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More Montana Exports Help Small Businesses

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MISSOULA -

New numbers from the US Department of Commerce show the Treasure state filled its coffers with $1.5 billion worth of merchandise exports, a better total than in 2013.

The data shows chemicals, minerals, and agricultural products were the most popular items bought from overseas.

This up tick in trade, though, even has ripples in the small business community.

LB Snow started in David Bosler's basement in 2009. It stayed there for about three years. Now they have their own workroom and store, turning snowboards into convertible skis for customers around the world.

"Anybody that wants one, we'll go ahead and do the work and send it out," said Bosler, the company's co-owner.

In 2013, Montana's exports supported 9,000 jobs. You could include the three craftsmen at LB Snow in that number.

"Every year we see a little bit of growth," said Bosler.

Over the past decade, exports to America's 20 free trade partners almost doubled. Thanks to this agreement between Canada and the US, LB Snow has sent several boards up north.

"We're the only ones that promote this service of the conversion so we get a lot of business from Montana, Idaho, Washington," explained Bosler.

International trade is where Bosler would like to see more growth, which is why they pay close attention to their website, so one day taking overseas orders will be simple.

Since 2013, Montana's exports increased by $23 million. This helped the US reach a record high last year for exporting goods and services: $2.35 trillion.

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