|NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release|
|Contact: Matt Borud
|State of Idaho Receives FFY18 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant Dollars|
|BOISE, Idaho—Wednesday, October 5, 2017—The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has awarded the State of Idaho a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant of $600,000 for projects to occur between September 30, 2018 – September 29, 2020 that support Idaho companies in exporting products internationally.
STEP is a trade and export initiative to make matching-fund awards to states to assist their small businesses with entering and succeeding in the international marketplace. The program is funded in part through a grant with the SBA and administered by the Idaho Department of Commerce.
On September 19, 2018, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon announced the FFY2018 $18 million funding was awarded to 47 states to support export growth among U.S. small businesses by increasing the number of small businesses that export, to increase the value of exports for small businesses, and to increase the number of small business that explore significant new trade opportunities.
“Since program inception in 2011, Idaho has received STEP funding each year and we are honored to again receive a grant for the next two years,” said Idaho Commerce Director Bobbi-Jo Meuleman. “This program continues to meaningfully and successfully aid Idaho businesses in exporting product and advancing international sales.”
Using STEP funds, Idaho Commerce and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture will support small businesses with activities such as organizing industry specific trade shows and missions, as well as facilitating a direct financial assistance award program. Eligible companies applied for funds on a competitive basis to target approved export projects with awards ranging from $3,800 to $8,500 per project. On September 25, $114,080 was awarded to 17 Idaho small businesses in industry sectors ranging from manufacturing and agriculture to aerospace and outdoor recreation. Projects range from sales trips to Australia and Norway to exhibiting at some of the world’s largest international industry trade shows in France and Germany.
National recipients of STEP awards in FFY2015 reported a strong return on investment generating $33 in U.S. small business export sales for every $1 awarded. In FFY2015, Idaho companies reported successful returns of nearly 40:1 from the program.
To learn more about Idaho’s current STEP grant program and for implementation of this new award, visit http://commerce.idaho.gov/idaho-business/international-trade/step-grant.