Phoenix, Arizona - The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that $303,442 has been awarded to Arizona Commerce Authority that successfully competed for funding to support export growth among small businesses through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).
“SBA is proud to partner with the STEP grant winners and provide much-needed resources that help small businesses increase their sales by exporting,” said Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton. “These grants are especially helpful as our country is in the midst of negotiating a number of trade agreements, including one between the United States–Mexico–Canada (USMCA). All of the Administration’s work is aimed at modernizing and creating a better deal for America’s consumers, businesses, including small businesses, and workers. The SBA’s STEP partners not only help entrepreneurs increase and diversify their customer base; they also help to create and retain local jobs.”
Today, trade represents nearly 58% of the world’s $80 trillion economy, and 95% of the world’s consumers are located outside the United States. Exporting is an important way for U.S. small businesses to grow revenue and boost local economies. STEP is designed to assist states with increasing the number of small businesses that export and the value of those exports.
“We are honored and delighted to continue this collaborative work with SBA on this highly impactful program,” said Kevin O’Shea, vice president of International Trade with Arizona Commerce Authority.
The 2019 STEP awards will help Arizona assist their small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export-related activities. Exporting activities include: participating in foreign trade missions and foreign market sales trips, obtaining services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, accessing expertise in designing international marketing campaigns and export trade show exhibits, and participating in training workshops, as well as other important means of engagement.
Expanding the base of small business exporters and improving the process to explore new trade opportunities is a key component of SBA’s small business strategy. Since 2011, the STEP program has awarded approximately $157 million in grants to fund export opportunities and increase the footprint of small businesses in countries all over the world.
Individual STEP awards are managed at the local level by state government organizations. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade administers the STEP awards at the national level.