The Texas Department of Agriculture is the recipient of a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to support export growth among small businesses. The funds come through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program.
“STEP is a great example of a true export development and promotion tool for preparing U.S. small businesses for international opportunities,” said District Director Angela Burton. “STEP grant awardees will offer the resources to help small businesses get in front of international businesses, increase and diversify their customer base and help to create and retain local jobs.”
The 2019 STEP awards will help SBA’s the Lower Rio Grande Valley District assist 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. They may also obtain services from the U.S. Department of Commerce. There will be access to expertise in designing international marketing campaigns and export trade show exhibits. They may also participate in training workshops as well as other important means of engagement.
Today, trade represents nearly 58 percent of the world’s $80 trillion economy with 95 percent of the world’s consumers located outside the United States. “Exporting is an important way for U.S. small businesses to grow revenue and boost local economies,” Burton said. STEP assists states by increasing the number of small businesses that export and the value of those exports.
Expanding business globally
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. It also works to increase the footprint of small businesses in countries all over the world.
Individual STEP awards are managed at the local level by the Texas Department of Agriculture. SBA’s Office of International Trade administers the STEP awards at the national level.