EarthQuaker Devices wins award from U.S. Small Business Administration 

Akron-based EarthQuaker Devices LLC has been honored with a national award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. EarthQuaker Devices has been named the SBA’s Exporter of the Year.

Founder and president Jamie Stillman (of Relaxer, and formerly of Drummer, Teeth of the Hydra, The Party of Helicopters, and the Donut Friends record label) will be honored on May 6 in Washington, D.C., during events surrounding National Small Business Week.

EarthQuaker Devices is a leading global exporter of hand-crafted guitar special effects pedals. Mr. Stillman’s company has successfully made use of the SBDC Export Assistance Network, which provides free, confidential counseling to exporters and has offices throughout Ohio. The network, an SBA resource partner, assists small- and medium-sized businesses with international business planning, market research, export documentation, local product requirements and logistics.

The company was assisted through a State of Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) grant to develop an international marketing strategy, funded through SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).  The company also made use of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Gold Key Service, which provides U.S. companies with matchmaking appointments with interested partners in a foreign market.   Through this service, administered through the U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC), where officials of the Department of Commerce and SBA are co-located, EarthQuaker LLC met with potential partners in Australia.  This resulted in a signed contract with an Australian firm and an opening order of $41,000.

Mr. Stillman started the company in his basement and now has about 50 employees working in a 15,000-square-foot facility in Akron. EarthQuaker exports guitar pedals to 47 countries.

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