The STEP announcement will be published on www.grants.gov and applications will be accepted until March 17, 2016. For more information, see www.sba.gov/step. Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that member states can immediately request SBA cooperation agreements that support small business efforts to increase exports. The state trade and export promotion (STEP) program has been valued at $18 million for awards through September 30, 2016. The STEP Program Cooperation agreements are awarded on a competitive basis. The STEP program has two objectives: 1) to increase the number of small businesses starting to export and 2) to increase the value of exports for small businesses that are currently exporting. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Commonwealth can apply. Premium amounts vary depending on the proposed project plan, budget and the competitive quality of the winner. Expanding the base of small business exporters and the ease of completing the process is an important part of the government`s national export initiative NEXT. The results for the STEP program have been very strong.
The winners reported support for export activities with an investment return greater than 19:1 export activities in 85 domestic markets, which were supported by STEP funding in the first two years of the award. A state may not submit more than one STEP price application and must support the following export-related activities: participation in trade missions, foreign sales trips, international marketing campaigns, export exhibitions, export training workshops or other export initiatives that meet the program`s objectives. Will award $US 18 million for promoting small business exports “Last year, the SBA surpassed our record for trade finance and supported $3.3 billion in export sales. I think we can do more to help our small businesses reach the 95 percent of consumers who live outside our borders,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator. Small businesses are increasingly engaged in the ever-changing global market. With our STEP premiums, states can convert more small businesses into exporters and increase their export sales. In doing so, these small businesses will create jobs and strengthen their communities. »