Vermont gets $300,000 for small business export expansion

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Vermont gets $300,000 for small business export expansion

Thu, 10/22/2020 - 10:31am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Agency of Commerce and Community Development has received a $300,000 exporting grant to assist small businesses in the state. The grant is awarded through the Small Business Administration's State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), a federal-state partnership initiative to increase the number of small businesses exporting their products.

“This year marks 10 years that the SBA has awarded STEP grants supporting state-level investments in small business export programs. STEP provides tremendous opportunities for American businesses to reach customers beyond our borders,” said Loretta Greene, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of International Trade. “With programs like STEP, small businesses looking to export their goods and products can use the funds from these grants to participate in foreign trade missions, develop and design international marketing campaigns, translate marketing materials into other languages, and the list goes on.”

Since STEP was established in 2010, Vermont has received a STEP grant each year. Vermont has received more than $2.3 million in STEP grants.

“As Vermont small businesses pursue new revenue streams, exporting can be a viable option to leverage the global appeal of Vermont’s high-quality products and outstanding services,” said Darcy Carter, SBA Vermont District Director.

The Department of Economic Development, a department of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, oversees and manages Vermont’s STEP grant. The funds may be applied to offset the costs for participation in foreign trade missions, export training and compliance, as well as company website upgrades to meet the international market.

The cancellation of opportunities to participate in-person at activities like trade shows and foreign trade missions due to Covid-19 resulted in new guidance from the SBA effectively doubling allowances for most activities and expanding the range of digital and virtual activities that are now eligible for reimbursement.

“Receiving this STEP award allows us to continue to help Vermont businesses expand their markets in a time when traveling to meet face-to-face is no longer a possibility,” said Joan Goldstein, Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development, “We encourage eligible businesses to consider incorporating STEP-approved export activities into their pandemic recovery and resiliency strategies.”

Vermont’s exports and imports accounted for approximately $6.5 billion in 2019, international trade accounts for 21% of the state’s gross domestic product.

Program-wide, STEP has recorded over $3.8 billion in exports and awarded approximately $157 million in grants to fund export opportunities since 2010. Individual State project award amounts vary based on proposed project plans and budgets. The SBA awarded $19 million worth of STEP grants to 48 states and territories in 2020.

The Vermont STEP grants are awarded on a rolling basis and businesses can apply now. For full details on eligibility and the application process please visit: https://accd.vermont.gov/STEP

About the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is funded in part through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is administered by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Department of Economic Development. It provides funding assistance to eligible Vermont businesses to support entry into foreign markets or expand international export activity through trade shows, trade missions, market research, and export education. For more information on STEP, visit https://accd.vermont.gov/STEP.

About the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s (ACCD) mission is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities. ACCD accomplishes this mission by providing grants, technical assistance, and advocacy through three divisions: The Department of Economic Development, the Department of Tourism and Marketing, and the Department of Housing and Community Development. For more information on ACCD please visit: https://accd.vermont.gov/.

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

Source: MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Agency of Commerce and Community Development 10.22.2020