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From the U.S. Small Business Administration

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that $18 million in funding has been awarded to 47 State international trade agencies through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), to support export growth among U.S. small businesses.

STEP is designed to meet three distinctive goals: to increase the number of small businesses that export, to increase the value of exports for small businesses, and to increase the number of small businesses that explore significant new trade opportunities. Expanding the base of small business exporters and making the process as easy as possible is a key component of the Administration’s small business strategy.

“The SBA is committed to ensuring equal access for small businesses to international markets and expanding export opportunities, and ensuring small businesses have the resources they need to drive their businesses and local communities forward,” said SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. “The STEP awards are an important resource that provide small businesses with the confidence and funding they need to thrive in this competitive international market.”

Since the beginning of the STEP program seven years ago, approximately $138 million in grants have been awarded to fund export opportunities and increase the footprint of small businesses in countries all over the world.

“The 2018 STEP awards is a great opportunity for states to help small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in exporting,” said SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Michelle Christian who oversees SBA programs in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, D.C. and Pennsylvania. “Assistance includes participation in foreign trade missions, foreign-market sales trips, and services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as design of international marketing campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training workshops and more.”

STEP awards are managed and provided at the local level by state government organizations. The program is managed at the national level by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade.

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