financial growth
Small Business

SBA Announces STEP Funding Opportunity

Grants for small businesses available to take their businesses global

The U.S. Small Business Administration announces the opening of the submission period for a funding opportunity through the State Trade Expansion Program. The purpose of the grant opportunity is to invite proposals to fund eligible state entities to provide assistance, guidance and tools to small businesses interested in exporting goods and services.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, our nation has embarked on the implementation of new, modern trade agreements. As we continue to see more fair and reciprocal trade deals enacted, exporting is a tremendous way for American small businesses to grow and compete in a global economy,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “The STEP grant program is an incredible tool, providing direct support to small businesses as they seek new and increased international sales opportunities.”

Small businesses located New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico have had great success through this opportunity funded by the federal government and dispersed through New Jersey Business Action Center, Empire State Development Corporation and Puerto Rico Trade & Export Company.

In the Garden State, Metuchen manufacturer SPEX CertiPrep had received three grants totaling around $10,00have helped the company secure a sizeable order with a Saudi Arabian company in addition to getting exposure to potential customers in Australia, China, Dubai, Vietnam, India and Japan.  Central New York’s Air Innovations, which produces floral display cases and wine cellars as well as air conditioning and filtration devices for the aerospace, military, semiconductor and pharmaceutical sectors, used their STEP grants to double their exports that now represent about 30% of their total annual revenue.  And multiple small businesses in Puerto Rico have received part of the $300,000 in funding from FY19 awarded to the Puerto Rico Trade & Export Company.

“At the SBA, we offer financial products and training to help small businesses capitalize on international opportunities,” said SBA Atlantic Regional Administrator Steve Bulger. “Through the STEP program, we make additional resources available to small businesses so they may thrive in the global market and further stimulate job creation.”

Funding Opportunity Announcement No. OIT-STEP-2020-01  is for fiscal year 2020 and the submission period is from February 6, 2020 – April 7, 2020.  Proposals responding to this Funding Opportunity Announcement must be posted to no later than 11:59 p.m. (EDT), April 7, 2020. No other method of submission is permitted.

For more information on submissions guidelines and rules for this funding opportunity, please visit

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