SALEM — U.S. Rep. Anne Kuster, D-N.H., visited Foxx Life Sciences in Salem Friday to discuss the importance of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. Company managers say it’s been a helpful resource for the fast-growing company as it expands its global customer base.
Leaders of Foxx Life Sciences said the company, which manufactures and distributes plastic and glass lab equipment for the biopharmaceutical industry and research universities, experienced over 40% growth for seven of the past eight years, and they’ve secured exclusive North American distribution deals with Indian companies Borosil and Ami Polymer Pvt. Ltd.
Foxx’s director of finance, Timothy Hockey, said like most fast-growing companies, the biggest problem is always cash flow. As they forecast growth, they will want to stock up inventory for six months to a year in advance. But banks won’t let companies borrow against exported reclaimable assets unless they’re guaranteed by the EXIM Bank.
Foxx’s first deal with EXIM was in March of 2018, and Hockey said it’s been a game-changer.
“The cash helped us tremendously,” Hockey said.
The exclusive distribution deals with the Indian companies involve importing products. Hockey said if the EXIM Bank isn’t reauthorized, it “may make it harder” to work those deals, but they’re still going to move forward with them either way.
Foxx Life Sciences owner and CEO Thomas Taylor wasn’t able to attend Kuster’s visit Friday because he was still in India on the heels of their latest agreement with Ami Polymer.
In a news release, Taylor describes Ami Polymer’s technology as “world class” and their addition to Foxx’s product offerings will make them a “key global supplier to the pharmaceutical and biotech markets.” He also said Borosil is the largest glassware company for lab supplies in India.
Taylor previously told the Union Leader that he has lines of credit through the Small Business Administration for building up inventory.
Foxx managers gave Kuster a tour of their Salem facility, including a view of a clean room manufacturing space. The company will be moving most of the operation into a new 125,000-square-foot facility in Londonderry in the coming months. About 30,000 square feet of clean room space will remain in Salem.
Kuster said she has long been a supporter of the EXIM Bank because she said it helps small businesses grow by expanding its markets overseas, and she is encouraged that a 10-year reauthorization recently passed the House of Representatives. While it enjoyed bipartisan support there, Kuster said it often meets opposition from lawmakers who espouse an “America First” ideology.
“Usually, it’s just piecing it together a year or two just to keep it alive,” Kuster said.
She said she is optimistic that it will find similar bipartisan support in the Senate, but that the reauthorization period may get negotiated down before it’s passed.
Hockey said he hadn’t heard about the EXIM Bank until after he started working for Foxx, though he’s worked in finance for a long time. But he said the staff there have been easy to work with, and they recently asked him for a quote to support the agency’s reauthorization.
“They’re doing a full court press down there,” Hockey said.