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STEP Grants: An Important Financial Resource for U.S. Exporters

  
  
  
In the summer of 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the formation of a program known as the National Export Initiative (NEI).  A focus of this initiative was the goal of doubling U.S. exports within 5 years and to give America a stronger competitive edge in the global market.  Later that fall, he signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 – which provided the resources to assist small businesses drive economic recovery and create jobs, striving to attain the goals set forth in the NEI.   obama signing


ABOVE: President Obama signs the Small Business Jobs Act, September 27, 2010. (Win McNamee, Getty Images.)

 

The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant initiative, launched under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, is a pilot grant program authorizing up to US$ 90 million in grants to the 50 U.S. states (and additional territories) over a three year period to help them increase the number of businesses that export, and to increase the value of exports by small businesses.

In 2011, the STEP program awarded 52 grants totaling US $30 million – an average grant to a U.S. state or territory was US$ 577,000.

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Administered and distributed via most U.S. state-based economic development agencies, these funds are designated for authorized activities that including foreign trade missions, design of international marketing products, and of course:  OVERSEAS TRADE SHOWS SUCH AS THOSE ORGANIZED AND PRODUCED WORLDWIDE BY MESSE DUESSELDORF!

 
Each state has its own project plans and STEP grant dispersal procedures, so be sure to contact your state’s economic development agency for details (a full list can be found HERE).

Don’t delay:  There's money on the table.

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