SBA Dedicates $20 Million to New Small Business Export Growth

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Administrator Guzman Announces 2023 State Trade Expansion Program Awardees

WASHINGTON, Sept. 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice in President Biden’s Cabinet for America’s 33 million small businesses announced $20 million in grants awarded to 49 state and territory international trade agencies across the country as part of the SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).

“For over ten years, the SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program has been an important federal and state partnership to get funding directly to small businesses seeking to grow their businesses and our economy with international trade opportunities. And with these funds, small businesses can get trade-ready, attend trade shows in foreign markets, and grow through global e-commerce,” said Administrator Guzman. “The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs and ensuring American small businesses can promote their products and services to over 95% of the world’s consumers who live abroad.” 

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Since its creation in 2010 as part of The Small Business Jobs Act, the STEP program has awarded $235.5 million in grants and directly supported over 13,000 small businesses’ international expansion and export growth. As states improve their exporting skills, the return on investment keeps improving- last year, every $1 in STEP funding yielded $43 in export sales.   

“STEP’s profound impact stands as a testament to the SBA’s unwavering support of U.S. small businesses seeking to grow their international footprint,” said Acting Associate Administrator for International Trade Claire Ehmann. “As STEP matures beyond its first decade, the SBA will continue modernizing and marketing this signature program that helps small businesses enter and expand into the international marketplace.” 

STEP awards help entrepreneurs compete globally by offsetting costs incurred by export-related activities, including participating in foreign trade missions, designing international marketing campaigns, participating in export trade show exhibits, attending training workshops, and other important means of engagement.

Strengthening the base of small business exporters and improving global competitiveness on the international stage are key components of the SBA’s small business strategy, in line with the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of expanding opportunity for America’s small businesses to grow and compete.  

This year’s awardees were selected after a highly competitive application process. Individual STEP awards are managed at the local level by state government organizations and nonprofit entities. To find out if your state or territory has earned an award, and to apply for funding opportunities, please visit: www.sba.gov/STEP and explore how small business counseling from local SBA Resource Partners can help inform your export strategy. 

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more visit www.sba.gov.

 

 

CONTACT: Christine Saah Nazer U.S. Small Business Administration 202-756-0304 [email protected] 

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