STEP Export Program
PSD Global – STEP
In March of 2011, STEP, which stands for State trade and Export Promotion Program, was launched to work in conjunction with the National Export Initiative and administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration.. The STEP Initiative calls for double exports from the United States in five years and supporting the creation of two million jobs. According to the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Karen Mills, “Strengthening the nation’s economy through a substantial increase of U.S. exports is a top priority for the government and the agency. This is a unique partnership between the federal government and the states. Sharing responsibilities and resources will help new small exporters across the country enter and succeed in the global market.”
The program offers funding from the federal government for 65 to 75 percent of all program costs, with the individual states supplying the remainder of the costs. The funding goes toward supporting a number of critical export initiatives, including:
- Foreign market sales trips
- Foreign trade missions
- Fees for website translation
- Subscription services provided by the Department of Commerce
- Trade show exhibitions
- International marketing media designs
- Participation in various training workshops.
For current information about the availability of grants in your particular state, click here (http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2889/resources/14315) and scroll down to the bottom of the page for a map of the United States. Hold your cursor over your state to see how much in grant money is currently available.
Aside from the various states and the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam are all eligible for STEP grants.
While the first round of competitive grants was awarded in September of 2011, a second round of competitive STEP grants will be awarded in September of 2012, for performance during the period of October 2012 until September 2013. In the first round, 52 grants were awarded totaling approximately $30 million. For this second round of grants, projects will be prioritized that “target provision of assistance to ‘eligible small business concerns,’ that are owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantages individuals, women, and by veterans and/or service-connected disabled veterans; are located in rural areas; promote new to market export opportunities to the People’s Republic of China; and/or promote regional, industry focused, innovation clusters.”
PSD Global provides a service to all states to aid them in managing their STEP grants (see the link here (http://www.sba.gov/about-sba-services/7367/25581) for more information on what these grants are and how to sign up to receive them), including providing services to the companies who are listed as recipients of the money. We provide assistance to businesses already in possession of STEP grants as well as interested parties wanting to identify what STEP grants they are eligible for and then coordinating the STEP process. We aid in proactively spending the STEP grants, including doing website translation and conducting overseas meetings with possible foreign investors. Other services offered include:
- Lead generation and business development
- Global development
- Trade promotion
- Market research and reports
- Global training
- Business partnership management
- Branding management
- Client servicing