Springdale-based Harris International was one of five Arkansas companies recognized Thursday (May 22) by Gov. Mike Beebe as part of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade. An award luncheon was held Thursday at the Governor’s Mansion.
The award honors companies for their leadership in exporting goods and services throughout the world. This year’s winners are:
• POM Incorporated (Russellville) – Arkansas Rising Star;
• Harris International (Springdale) – Global Sustainability;
• Sweepscrub.com (North Little Rock) – Small Manufacturer Exporter;
• Triangle Engineering (Jacksonville) – Medium Manufacturer Exporter; and
• Arkansas Steel Associates (Newport) – Large Manufacturer Exporter
“For Arkansas’s economic growth to continue, our homegrown businesses must embrace international trade,” Beebe said in a statement. “These companies prove that businesses large and small can succeed in the global marketplace with innovative products and a sound business plan. The companies honored today should serve as an inspiration to businesses throughout the state.”
This is the fifth year for the program which is co-sponsored by the Arkansas District Export Council, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, U.S. Commercial Service, and the Arkansas World Trade Center.
Judging criteria was based on factors such as most recent percentage of export sales to total sales, growth of export sales over the past three years, the company's goals and commitments internationally and the number of jobs saved or created due to the company's export performance if applicable.
The Governor’s Awards highlight the importance of international trade on the state’s economic stability and growth. According to Census Bureau data, Arkansas’s export shipments of merchandise in 2013 totaled $7.2 billion. There were 2,242 Arkansas companies exporting goods from Arkansas in 2013. Arkansas’s largest trade partners in 2013 were Canada ($1.5 billion), Mexico ($870 million), China ($683 million) and France ($605 million).
The Arkansas District Export Council is composed of business leaders appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. District Export Councils contribute leadership and international trade expertise to complement the U.S. Commercial Service's export promotion efforts through counseling businesses on the exporting process and conducting trade education and community outreach.
Harris International began as owner, chemist, and native Arkansan, David Harris, invented Evapo-Rust in 2000 to remove rust from military tanks. The product, Evapo-Rust Super Safe Rust Remover, is non-toxic, non-hazardous, biodegradable, and contains no acids, bases, or VOCs, making it safe on skin and eyes. Their unique method of shipping a dehydrated form of the product is helpful to third world countries. It allows the customer to mix water with the dehydrated products in the shipping container which then becomes the distribution device to other, smaller retail customers.
“Because of this very eco-friendly method of distributing their product, consistent increase in global sales over the past three years has led to an expansion of their facility,” noted a statement from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.