NADEC Call to Action!

NADEC Call to Action STEP Grant Reauthorization

The National Association of District Export Councils (NADEC) is sending out a local DEC “Call to Action” in regards to reauthorization of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).  The background and talking points for this bill are set out below.  The NADEC is strongly in support of this authorization, and we are calling on all local DECs to reach out to their Legislative Leaders (House and Senate) to share their support for this program.  The Committee that leads this effort for reauthorization is the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and its members are listed here https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/committeemembers .  This is a great time for DEC members to reach out to their Congressional Representatives and local staff.  The NADEC thanks all local DEC members for their continued support for U.S. small businesses.

Ten Year Anniversary: 

State Trade Expansion Program Helped U.S. Small Businesses Find Customers Overseas

The U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates 10 years of support for small business growth through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grants. 

STEP’s goals are to increase the number of small businesses that export, increase the value of small business exports, and to increase the number of small businesses that explore new trade opportunities

Since its creation in 2010 as part of The Small Business Jobs Act, STEP has recorded over $3.8 billion in exports with more than 12,000 small businesses receiving grants to fund their export opportunities and increase their footprint across 141 countries.   

In the past decade, SBA awarded $157 million in 339 grants to all 50 U.S. States and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.  

STEP awards were managed at the local level by State government organizations.  Funding was used to cover the costs of small businesses associated with entering and expanding into international markets.  Grants and training enabled businesses to: 

  • Learn how to export

  • Participate in foreign trade missions and trade shows

  • Obtain services to support foreign market entry

  • Translate websites to attract foreign buyers

  • Design international marketing products or campaigns

For the most recently completed STEP grants (FY 17), the highest return on investment to date, for every $1 in grant funding provided, resulted in $66 in export sales.  Each year, on average, over 3,000 small businesses received assistance.

Overall, STEP has succeeded in helping small businesses to enter the export market, providing the resources they need to navigate selling to customers overseas.  Together with the SBA, state trade agencies have helped small firms take that ­ first step to sell their products and services in the global market.  With only 1 percent of small businesses exporting, the opportunity for growth through trade is tremendous.

For more information about STEP and other SBA export resources, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade.

[Insert local small business success story using STEP Grants here]

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