OKLAHOMA CITY – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced recently that $299,000 has been awarded to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to support export growth among small businesses through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program. 

“STEP is a great example of a true export development and promotion tool for preparing U.S. small businesses for international opportunities,” said Regional Administrator Justin Crossie. “STEP grant awardees have the resources to help small businesses get in front of international customers and generate actual international sales. 

“These grants are especially helpful as our country is in the midst of negotiating a number of trade agreements, like the United States–Mexico–Canada agreement, the most pro-small business trade agreement we have ever entered into. All of the Administration’s work is aimed at modernizing and creating a better deal for America’s consumers, businesses, including small businesses, and workers. The SBA’s STEP partners not only help entrepreneurs increase and diversify their customer base; they also help to create and retain local jobs.”

Today, trade represents nearly 58% of the world’s $80 trillion economy, and 95% of the world’s consumers are located outside the United States. Exporting is an important way for U.S. small businesses to grow revenue and boost local economies. STEP is designed to assist states with increasing the number of small businesses that export and the value of those exports.

The 2019 STEP awards will help Oklahoma assist their small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export-related activities. Exporting activities include participating in foreign trade missions and foreign market sales trips, obtaining services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, accessing expertise in designing international marketing campaigns and export trade show exhibits, and participating in training workshops, as well as other important means of engagement.

Expanding the base of small-business exporters and improving the process to explore new trade opportunities is a key component of SBA’s small business strategy. Since 2011, the STEP program has awarded approximately $157 million in grants to fund export opportunities and increase the footprint of small businesses in countries all over the world.

Individual STEP awards are managed at the local level by state government organizations. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade administers the STEP awards at the national level.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small-business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

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