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SBA Extending Its Small Business Exporting Grant Program With Another $8 Million

 SBA State Trade and Export Promotion Grant Program (STEP)
For the past two years, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has offered grants to small businesses who want to increase their exporting business. The program is called the State Trade and Export Promotion Grant Program (STEP). SBA recently announced that it would be extending the program another year.

According to the SBA, a total of $8 million in grants will be awarded to small businesses who qualify. Small businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands are eligible to apply for STEP grants.

The Program provides 75 percent in federal funding to match 25 percent of state funding to cover project costs for small businesses. In the second round of funding, the SBA awarded 52 grants totaling $30 million with the average grant award at $577,000. Grant money can be used to support participation in foreign trade initiatives, market sales trips, development of marketing products and campaigns designed for foreign marketing, export trade show exhibits, and other export-focused efforts.

The STEP Program is a combination Federal-state grant initiative whose purpose is to increase the number of small businesses that export and to increase the value of exports by small businesses. The program was the result of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Small businesses who want to apply for a grant have until May 20, 2014 to submit their grant application.

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