Utah receives $300,000 STEP grant to increase small business exports

World Trade Center Utah has been awarded $300,000 through the State Trade Expansion Program which is funded in part through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide grants to local small businesses.

The purpose of the STEP Grant is to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and help existing exporting companies grow. STEP Grants can be applied to export related activities including participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips and services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Other activities that qualify include compliance testing of an existing product, website translation into foreign languages, export trade show exhibits, training workshops and more.

“The STEP Grant provides small businesses with the opportunity to facilitate meaningful interactions with potential customers and partners in international markets,” said Miles Hansen, president and CEO of WTC Utah. “Small businesses represent 84 percent of Utah’s exporters and by helping them actualize their international goals, we help all of Utah.”

WTC Utah’s mission is to promote prosperity across the state by attracting investment and increasing exports. One of the ways WTC Utah accomplishes this mission is by helping Utah companies add customers, increase revenue and create jobs by selling internationally. By partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration, WTC Utah is better positioned to help boost Utah’s economy and promote Utah as a global player.

“The Small Business Administration is serious about helping Utah businesses grow globally,” said Marla Trollan, district director of the SBA Utah District Office. “There is so much potential here for small businesses to expand and exporting is a great way to do that. They can really benefit from the STEP Grant.”

The STEP Grant application period will open on a rolling basis throughout the year. The first opening is Oct. 1, 2018, and companies interested in using STEP Grant funding on activities completed by Sept. 30, 2019, can apply. Utah businesses that meet the eligibility requirements can receive up to $10,000 in funding for their international activities. A 25 percent cash match by the grant recipient is required.

Additional information about the STEP Grant, including eligibility requirements, approved activities and how to apply, can be viewed awtcutah.com/grants/step-grant/.

The State Trade Expansion Program is in its seventh year and this is the second year WTC Utah will manage the grant through a contract with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). WTC Utah and GOED are planning two trade missions and five trade shows during the grant year. STEP Grant money can be used to attend one of these trips.

Upcoming trade missions:

  • Paris International Air Show, June 17-23, 2019
  • Japan and Hong Kong, Sept. 16-20, 2019

Upcoming trade shows:

  • MEDICA Trade Fair in Germany, Nov. 12-15, 2018
  • ISPO Munich in Germany, Feb. 3-6, 2019
  • JEC World 2019 in France, March 12-14, 2019
  • BIO KOREA 2019 International Convention in South Korea, April 17-19, 2019
  • DSEI 2019 in the United Kingdom, Sept. 10-13, 2019

The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded $18 million in funds to 47 states for FY 2018.