The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that $20 million in grant funding has been awarded to state international trade agencies throughout the country via a competitive application process to SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program grant program. Oklahoma was awarded $350,000 to help provide small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export-related activities.
“The intent of this program is to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and to increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting,” said Nicole Boyles, STEP Grant Director, Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “This funding from the SBA is a critical component in our overall Export & Trade program in Oklahoma. The STEP grant funds we’ve received help us to build the capacity of current and future small business exporters to compete in the global marketplace and expand their customer base outside of the U.S.”
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce is now accepting applications from eligible Oklahoma companies interested in utilizing STEP funds to start or expand exporting activities. Exporting activities include: participating in foreign trade missions, market sales trips, designing international marketing campaigns, participating in export trade show exhibits, and attending training workshops, as well as other important means of engagement.
“With 85% of the state’s businesses qualifying as small businesses, being able to provide the necessary export and trade services to these companies is no small feat,” said Brent Kisling, Executive Director, Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “Our team is dedicated to supporting these companies and growing the number of Oklahoma companies that export – which benefits both Oklahoma’s economy and each individual business.”
For more information on the STEP grant available through the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, visit www.okcommerce.gov/step.