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State Receives Federal Funding to Boost California Small Business Exports Globally
Sacramento, Calif. – The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) today announced that California received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help California small businesses boost trade and exports abroad. GO-Biz and CDFA will use the funds as part of the California State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) to help California small businesses participate in activities like foreign sales trade shows and access foreign markets through trade promotion initiatives.
“California is the 5th largest economy in the world and today’s announcement bolsters the state’s efforts to help more small businesses become international exporters,” said Panorea Avdis, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). “Small businesses can use these funds to connect with international customers, market products globally, and identify new business opportunities. These resources empower companies to scale-up operations, create new jobs, and grow our local California economies. We look forward to further expanding this program to bring more California business into the global economy.”
The grant is part of SBA’s STEP program which awarded grants to 47 states and territories to support activities to increase exports by US small businesses. Administrator Linda McMahon, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and member of President Trump’s Cabinet, announced the grant award this week in Washington D.C.
“The SBA is committed to ensuring equal access for small businesses to international markets and expanding export opportunities, and ensuring small businesses have the resources they need to drive their businesses and local communities forward,” said SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. “The STEP awards are an important resource that provide small businesses with the confidence and funding they need to thrive in this competitive international market.”
STEP awards were created to advance key priorities identified in the 2010 President’s National Export Initiative (NEI), namely to expand the base of small businesses that become exporters and to make the exporting process as easy as possible for small businesses.
“California understands the importance of international markets, trading partners and what exports mean to our local communities,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “This award will help further assistance to small businesses and help them to maximize their potential in foreign markets. As the nation’s largest agricultural producer and exporter our farmers, ranchers and food processors benefit from open markets, export sales and a global consumer base.”
California has received STEP funding in previous years, and this is the second year GO-Biz and the CDFA will jointly administer the program. In addition to the Federal support, California and its partner agencies will provide $349,999 in matching funds, bringing the total program funds to $999,999. GO-Biz and CDFA will work with other partners including the California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD), the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Orange County Business Council in providing trade promotion programs.
GO-Biz and CDFA will use the funds to help small businesses participate in activities like foreign export trade show exhibitions, participation in foreign trade missions tailored the sales of products and/or services, foreign market sales trips, subscription services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as design of international marketing campaigns, and more.
For more information on the California STEP program, visit California STEP and for additional information on SBA’s STEP program and the FY 2016 awardees, visit the Small Business Administration.
Aneesh RamanSenior Advisor on Strategy and External Affairs