Vermont included in SBA state trade export promotion program
Vermont is among 47 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia will receive $30 million total from the US Small Business Administration in a second round of funding to support efforts to increase exporting by small businesses. Vermont Global Trade Partnership will be awarded $212,533 in the second round of STEP funding.
The Vermont Global Trade Partnership will organize a ‘Best of New England’ presence at the 2013 Paris Air Show, coordinating a booth in cooperation with international trade offices from other New England states, with an objective to develop $3,000,000 in sales and international media opportunities for its exhibitors. The China International Travel Mart (CITM) will assist Vermont companies to capture $1.6 billion of Chinese tourism expenditure in Vermont. The International Pow Wow will showcase the Vermont tourism industry by supporting 10 eligible Vermont businesses’ participation.
“With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, exporting gives small businesses the opportunity to reach new markets, increase sales and create jobs,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “The second round of STEP funding will be instrumental in helping small businesses start or expand their exporting opportunities so they can create an economy built to last.”
The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) initiative, launched last year under the Small Business Jobs Act, is aimed at achieving two goals: 1) increase the number of small businesses that want to export and 2) increase the value of exports for those small businesses that currently export.
Individual state project award amounts vary based on each state’s proposed project plan and budget. (See federal funding by state at http://www.sba.gov/step.) Last year, awards totaled approximately $29 million.
Preliminary results for the Program are very strong. In FY 2012, SBA expects to report a return on investment of federal funds on the order of ten-to-one.
The Small Business Jobs Act provided $60 million for the STEP Program for use over a two-year period. STEP services are locally designed to meet the specific international trade development needs of state and local small business communities; therefore, they vary from state to state. In general, services include support for participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, subscription to services provided by the Department of Commerce, website translation fees, design of international marketing media, trade show exhibitions, and participation in training workshops.
For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov/step.