The Baker-Polito Administration announced that forty-two small businesses across Massachusetts are receiving State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grants to help them promote their products in the global marketplace.
Coordinated by the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) and Massachusetts Small Business Development Center/ Massachusetts Export Center, the STEP grants support export activities such as trade show participation, overseas marketing and localization services, and subscription services from the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy said, “The Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to supporting the Massachusetts small businesses that create globally-desirable products, and keep our economy moving and our downtowns vibrant. The STEP Grant program is among the many tools and resources that enhance business competitiveness here in the Commonwealth, specifically through access to high-impact capital and entry into new markets.”
SBA MA District Director Bob Nelson said, “The SBA is proud to partner with local STEP grant winners to provide resources for empowering small businesses expanding internationally. These STEP awards fund opportunities to increase their customer base around the world and our goal at the SBA district office is to support them through every step of the way with education, access to capital and assistance.”
Massachusetts Export Center Director Paula Murphy said, “The STEP grant enables Massachusetts businesses to engage in targeted, high-impact activities to increase export sales. We look forward to working with this year’s awardees to ensure that they succeed in global markets.”
MOITI and the Massachusetts Export Center selected applications in a competitive process based on feasibility and export readiness, with priority given to new-to-export firms looking to expand into the global marketplace. Grantees are encouraged to utilize the market research and export assistance services provided through the Export Center to ensure the highest return on investment.
The SBA awarded $500,000 to Massachusetts for the STEP program in September 2019. The Commonwealth has contributed $166,667 in matching funds. Grant recipients are required to leverage private money together with the grant funds to ensure that taxpayer money is spent efficiently and effectively.
For more information on the STEP program and services provided by the Export Center visit mass.gov/export/step.