Nebraska Among Awardees of STEP Funding to Expand Export Opportunities to SMBs


Nebraska Among Awardees of STEP Funding to Expand Export Opportunities to SMBs

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that $18 million in funding has been awarded to 44 State international trade agencies through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), to support export growth among U.S. small businesses. In Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development was awarded $263,720.

STEP is designed to increase both the number of small businesses that begin to export and the value of exports for small businesses currently exporting. The 2017 STEP awards will allow states to assist small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export related activities that are in line with the objectives of the program. These objectives include participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as design of international marketing campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training workshops and more.

This is Nebraska’s Department of Economic Development’s (NE DED) sixth grant award through this program. Over the past five years, they have had over 75 small businesses participate in STEP, generating almost $50,000,000 in actual sales as a result of their participation in STEP supported activities with an additional $7,230,000 projected sales anticipated from this year’s activities alone.

This year’s funding will be used to defray costs incurred by eligible small business entities in Nebraska to attend domestic and international trade shows, conduct international sales trips, register for US Department of Commerce match-marketing programs, hire translation services for hard copy information and websites targeting international sales, and to conduct third party product testing to verify their products meet international market entry standards. In addition, NDED will contract to provide market research reports for individual ESBCs.