State Governments “STEP” Toward Export Development

States around the country just recently gained access to funds for boosting state exports. Created by the Small Business Jobs Act, the recently launched State Trade and Export Promotion Grant (STEP) Program is designed to better fund small business exporting assistance programs. By increasing the number of small businesses that are exporting, and increasing the value of exports for those small businesses already participating in global trade, the government is working to give America a stronger competitive edge globally.

Here are the many ways states receiving federal funds through the STEP program can carry out export programs:

  • Implement foreign trade missions
  • Make foreign market sales trips
  • Subscribe to services provided by the Department of Commerce
  • Pay website transaction fees
  • Design international marketing products or campaigns
  • Exhibit at trade shows
  • Participate in training workshops or any other export initiative deemed appropriate by the SBA’s Office of International Trade’s Associate Administrator.

Many small businesses looking to take advantage of this funding need guidance when navigating through the global export economy. The STEP program outlines several ways priority may be given to certain applications, and gaining export market intelligence will be key to making a proposal stand out. For example, priority may be given to an applicant that promotes new-to-market opportunities to China. How can you find current data on the top companies exporting to China? What are the top commodities being exported?

Two PIERS products are uniquely suited to assist applicants. With a comprehensive, ranked view of international buyers and sellers, user friendly graphics and the ability to view Bill of Lading details by company, PIERS Prospects can help applicants isolate exporters in their specific states and search by county or zip codes to find small businesses that can benefit from their initiatives. Additionally, PIERS StatsPlus allows users to gain a global perspective on the flow of commodities to identify growth markets and monitor the risks of markets in decline for any of 20,000 product codes and over 170 countries.

“Thanks to key leaders at the State International Development Organizations (SIDO) working with State and Federal agencies, PIERS has been able to take part in supporting the National Export Initiative by helping state and county economic development executives find new export markets and foreign direct investment prospects,” said Wael Jarous, PIERS Vice President.

Ready to take the next “STEP?” Register for a free demo on each product and capitalize on this valuable opportunity.


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