SBA Grant Aids Small Businesses with Export Assistance

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio has received $900,000 in federal funding to help its small businesses export more goods.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program, or STEP, for assistance in exporting has awarded $19.5 million for fiscal year to 48 states. In Ohio, the STEP award will support the International Market Access Grant for Exporters program, which is administered by the state’s development department.

The program is designed to increase the number of small businesses selling abroad and to amplify the value of that trade. Since the program’s creation in 2010 as part of the Small Business Jobs Act, Ohio has received approximately $8 million in STEP awards. 

Ohio’s fiscal 2022 award enables the development department to assist small businesses with information and tools needed to succeed in export-related activities. These undertakings include participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips and services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

In addition, the state uses STEP funds to provide export training workshops to the small business community and to help small businesses design international marketing campaigns and develop export trade show exhibits.

“STEP grants, along with SBA’s other export resources, help Ohio’s small businesses enter and develop foreign markets,” said Gil Goldberg, SBA Cleveland District director. “From heavy industry to high tech, Ohio-based smaller enterprises should look beyond U.S. borders for growth opportunities.”

Everett M. Woodel Jr., SBA Columbus District director, said exports by small business are vital to the recovery of the state’s economy after the pandemic.

According to the SBA, small firms in Ohio exported goods worth $10.8 billion in 2019, making up 22.1% of all exports from the state.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.