SBA Announces FY 2014 State Trade and Export Promotion Awards
The Small Business Administration announced today that 24 awards will be made to states to support activities to increase exporting by small businesses. The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program was appropriated $8 million to award by September 30, 2014.
The STEP program has two objectives: 1) increase the number of small businesses that begin to export and 2) increase the value of exports for small businesses that currently export. Competition was robust among the 49 state applications for this third round of awards. The amount of awards will vary based on the awardee’s approved project plan and budget. Expanding the base of small business exporters and making the process as easy as possible is a key component of the Administration’s National Export Initiative.
Results for the STEP program have been very strong. For the second round of awards, made in FY 2012, awardees reported a return on investment of federal funds of over 19-1.
“With today’s technological advances, small businesses are better equipped than ever to compete in a global marketplace. Exporting provides tremendous opportunities for America’s small businesses that are looking to expand and create jobs. The STEP program is another way that the U.S. Small Business Administration is partnering with states to give small businesses the tools and resources they need to take their business to the next level,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.
The 2014 awards are designed for states to assist small businesses with the following export related activities: participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, subscription services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, design of international marketing campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training workshops or other export initiatives that are in line with the objectives of the program.
For a list of awardees and more information on the STEP program, visit http://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/oit/resources/14315.