(Photo by Flickr user Kevin Gill, used via a Creative Commons license)
Delaware small businesses that are entering and developing markets overseas may soon get a boost via the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
For the fifth year in a row, the Delaware Department of State (DDS) has received an SBA State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) award, this year totaling $268,096, to be used to support the state in its efforts to help small Delaware companies that do business internationally.
The DDS is working to increase the number of U.S. small businesses that export, along with the sales and Delaware job creation that comes with it.
The STEP Grant program is a matching-fund award; Delaware will match the SBA grant with $89,365, bringing the total available for small businesses that export to $357,461.
The funding is granted to eligible businesses to cover up to $50% of pre-approved expenses.
“The STEP Grant funds from the SBA have proven instrumental to Delaware entrepreneurs in yielding new international business,” said Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock in a press release. “This program is a direct source of new growth for our state’s economy.”
Ninety-six Delaware small businesses have participated in the program, resulting in a reported $48 million in new export sales with over $180 million in additional export sales projected in the next two years, and 27 new Delaware jobs have been reported to have been created as a result of the program, per the release.
Most grant money will be used to directly reimburse small- and medium-sized companies for eligible, pre-approved export expenses such as international travel, trade show activities, translation of international marketing materials, and overseas interpreters, services that often prohibit small businesses from entering the international market.
According to Export Delaware, an initiative of the DDS that organizes trade mission trips for Delaware small businesses, travel can help businesses secure new partners, distributors and foster growth. Some recent notable deals include:
- $4.2 million purchase order as a result of a grant-funded business trip to the UK
- $3.5 million in sales as result of a trip to Germany
- $3.5 million in sales as a result of trips to Canada and Mexico
Companies with a physical operation and employees in Delaware that export (or are looking to export) U.S.-made goods are eligible. Click here to apply.
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