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STEP Program to begin second STEP round

Forty-seven states, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia will receive $30 million total from the U.S. Small Business Administration in a second round of funding to support efforts to increase exporting by small businesses.

The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) initiative, launched last year under the Small Business Jobs Act, is aimed at achieving two goals: 1) increase the number of small businesses that want to export and 2) increase the value of exports for those small businesses that currently export.

Individual state project award amounts vary based on each state’s proposed project plan and budget. (See federal funding by state at Last year, awards totaled approximately $29 million.

Preliminary results for the Program are very strong. In FY 2012, we expect to report a return on investment of federal funds on the order of ten-to-one.

The Small Business Jobs Act provided $60 million for the STEP Program for use over a two-year period. STEP services are locally designed to meet the specific international trade development needs of state and local small business communities; therefore, they vary from state to state. In general, services include support for participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, subscription to services provided by the Department of Commerce, website translation fees, design of international marketing media, trade show exhibitions, and participation in training workshops.

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