The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that a grant totaling $600,000 has been awarded to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) as part of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) – a federally funded grant program that aims to increase export activities among small businesses. The STEP program has helped thousands of small businesses across California obtain grants and identify customers in the global marketplace by covering various costs associated with entering and expanding into international markets.
For the first time, the California STEP grant will be overseen and administered exclusively by the GO-Biz International Affairs and Trade team. Since the inception of the program in 2011, the State of California has received approximately $8.5 million in STEP funding.
“As Governor Newsom’s representative for international affairs and trade development, I know how critical the STEP program is to helping California’s small businesses. In the past decade, more than 1,200 California small businesses have participated in overseas activities through STEP, which has generated more than $85 million in export sales – a true indication of the economic resiliency that exporting can support,” said California Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis.
Emily Desai, Deputy Director of International Affairs and Trade at GO-Biz noted, “Exporting businesses grow their sales faster, create more jobs, and pay their employees more than non-exporting businesses. With this new round of STEP funding, we are looking forward to working with our partners across the state to ensure those benefits are made available to even more California small businesses, particularly those that have historically lacked access to economic opportunity.”
Visit GO-Biz’s new California STEP website for more information and review the Program Details page to learn about how California small businesses can qualify for up to $10,000 in funding for export promotion activities.