The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that the State of Nebraska has been selected to receive $262,875 in funding to support small business export opportunities through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).
Governor Pete Ricketts thanked the SBA for its continued support of the Nebraska small business community. “Small businesses help grow Nebraska by creating jobs and investing in their local communities,” said Gov. Ricketts. “We are appreciative of SBA’s ongoing support for our small businesses through the STEP program. Over the past decade, STEP grants have helped dozens of Nebraska companies expand internationally. They are an important resource to create opportunities at home by marketing Nebraska’s quality products around the world.”
Since its inception in 2010, STEP has helped more than 12,000 small businesses across America enter into or expand in international markets. This is the eighth year that Nebraska has been awarded a STEP grant.
STEP’s goals are to increase the number of small businesses that export; to increase the value of small business exports; and to increase the number of small businesses that explore new trade opportunities. Over the past decade, the program has awarded $157 million to U.S. states and territories, which in turn supply grants to small businesses to finance export-related activities.
Activities covered by STEP include learning how to export; participating in foreign trade missions and trade shows; obtaining services to support foreign market entry; translating websites to attract foreign buyers; and designing international marketing products or campaigns.
“STEP has provided international travel funding for our sales staff, helping us develop markets that may not have been possible without the program,” said Leigh Hoyt, Marketing Director for Kugler Company out of Culbertson, Neb. “We would like to give a big thank you to SBA and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development for enabling this opportunity.”
On average, over 3,000 U.S. businesses receive STEP assistance each year. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, every one dollar in STEP grant funding generated an estimated $66 in export sales, according to the SBA. Since 2010, STEP businesses have increased their footprint across 141 countries and logged more than $3.8 billion in export dollars.
In Nebraska, over 100 small businesses have benefitted from STEP support to date, generating more than $80 million in actual sales.
“The market for Nebraska products, services and innovations extends well beyond our borders,” said DED Director Anthony L. Goins. “SBA’s STEP program is an invaluable resource for companies seeing to establish their international footprint and bring in new customers and revenue streams. The State of Nebraska appreciates the leadership and staff at SBA for administering this impactful program on behalf of the small business community.”
For more information about STEP grants in Nebraska, including eligibility and how to apply, visit https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/program/step-grant/. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade for additional program info.