The Small Business Administration (SBA) has granted Delaware a State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant award totaling $282,636 to support the state’s efforts to assist Delaware companies enter and develop markets overseas this fiscal year. This year’s grant amount is greater than last year’s STEP award; Delaware was one of few states that received 100 percent of the amount requested this year.
“This is great news for Delaware companies looking to expand their customer base to overseas markets,” said state export advisor Beth Pomper.
What is the STEP Grant?
The SBA’s STEP Program gives states matching-fund awards to assist small businesses looking to enter and succeed in the international marketplace. The program’s objectives are to increase the number of U.S. small businesses that export and to increase the value of exports by small businesses.
As with previous STEP grants, a significant portion of the grant will be used to directly reimburse small- and medium-sized companies for money spent on eligible, pre-approved export expenses such as international travel, trade show activities, international marketing materials and overseas interpreters.
“Delaware companies were able to successfully leverage STEP grants to grow their export strategies last year, and we hope to see even more activity this year,” said Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock of the STEP award, noting that Delaware companies are anticipating over $10 million in sales as a result of last year’s export program.
How can Delaware companies benefit?
The STEP award will also be used to finance export-related marketing activities, such as organizing trade missions to connect Delaware businesses with buyers and distributors abroad. Global Delaware will organize trade missions to Mexico, Canada, South Korea and Germany this year. STEP grant funds are used to set up one-on-one business meetings with potential distributors and customers in the target markets, hire interpreters, and cover other costs associated with the missions, such as translating marketing presentations and paying for in-country transportation.
Check out this Q&A with Beth Pomper to find out what the STEP Grant can do for your Delaware business!
“Delaware’s success abroad shows that this partnership between the federal government and the State works,” said Sec. Bullock. “What we need to see now is more companies—new companies—coming forward to take advantage of this resource to grow business and contribute to job creation here in Delaware.”
For more information on the STEP Grant, and to apply go to: de.gov/funding
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