SBA Grants $30 Million to States for Trade, Export Promotion

SBA Grants $30 Million to States for Trade, Export Promotion

STEP Initiative Will Help SmallBusinesses Export  WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing$30 million in grants to states, territories, and the District of Columbia, tohelp increase exporting by small businesses during the next 12 months. Thegrants were authorized by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, under the StateTrade and Export Promotion Program .The STEP program, launched inMarch, aligns with President Obama’s National Export Initiative. The President’s initiative calls for doublingU.S. exports in five years – and in so doing, supporting two million jobs. Theprogram provides federal government funding for 65 to75 percent of programcosts, with states supplying the remainder. {{more}}SBA Administrator Karen Millsannounced the awards today at an event in Raleigh, N.C., at Raleigh Denim, asmall business that produces and exports denim products.  Forty-seven states, the District of Columbia,Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islandsreceived STEP grants.“Strengthening the nation’seconomy through a substantial increase of U.S. exports is a top priority forthe Administration and the agency,” said Mills. “This is a unique partnershipbetween the federal government and the states. Sharing responsibilities and resources will help new small exportersacross the country enter and succeed in the global market.”The funding will supportparticipation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips,subscriptions to services provided by the Department of Commerce, websitetranslations fees, design of international marketing media, trade showexhibitions, participation in training workshops, and other critical exportinitiatives.Small businesses that want toreceive assistance under the STEP program should contact the organizationsserving the states in which they are located. For a list of these organizationsand more information about the STEP program, visit http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2889/resources/14315.The SBA anticipates it will conducta new competition for STEP program grants during the winter of 2011. Awards will be made in September 2012 forexport support services by states over the following 12 months. Texaswas awarded $161,711.00. The program will develop small business opportunitiesin three targeted markets – Peoples Republic of China, United Arab Emirates,and Republic of Korea – to expand the market for Texas agricultural products.