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Watertown-based exporter honored by business group

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WATERTOWN — Darrin R. Prance, founder and president of adhesive tape manufacturer North American Tapes LLC, has been named the 2014 Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

He will receive the SBA’s Syracuse district award at the group’s annual awards luncheon May 5 at the Doubletree Hotel in East Syracuse.

Mr. Prance was chosen for the award based on his Northern New York company’s increase in international sales, according to a news release. He was nominated by KeyBank.

The tape industry veteran started his own business 12 years ago with the help of business partner Martin J. LeMoine; business counseling from the Small Business Development Center at Jefferson Community College and an SBA 504 loan for equipment from the New York Business Development Corp. and KeyBank.

The manufacturer has become the second largest producer of hockey tape in the world, and exporting now accounts for more than 40 percent of its corporate sales, the release said. North American Tapes has 26 employees and an annual sales growth of 15 percent.

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