Press Release Provided by SBA
Nationally, $18 Million Set to Promote Small Business Global Trade
DETROIT – 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. In Michigan, the $1,066,666 award will support export development for eligible small business concerns (ESBCs) through financial assistance awards for trade missions, international sales trips and trade shows along with export legal trainings. MSF plans on supporting 226 ESBCs, with anticipated export sales totaling $113.3 million.
“SBA programs like STEP are important resources for America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs to expand into international markets,” said SBA Region V Administrator Rob Scott. “More than three quarters of the world’s purchasing powers is outside of the United States. By tapping into global markets, small businesses are able to grow faster and are more likely to stay in business.”
STEP is designed to meet three distinctive goals in Michigan: 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.
“STEP, as well as SBA’s other export resources, including loans and U.S. Export Assistance Centers, ensure local resources are available to make global markets more accessible, removing barriers to market entry. By funding Michigan and its export development partners, SBA is delivering the tools and resources required for small businesses in our state to build relationships and launch their services and products abroad,” said Constance Logan, SBA’s Michigan district director.
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 will allow states to assist small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export-related activities that are in line with the objectives of the program. These objectives include participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, 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.
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.