A State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant was awarded to the South Carolina Department of Commerce from the Small Business Administration for $333,364 which is the amount the Department of Commerce sought.
STEP grants are awarded nationwide as a way for states to help encourage small business export success.
In 2014, the money went toward creating the South Carolina Opportunities for Promoting Exports (SCOPE) which, along with STEP, has generated more than $15 million in export sales. South Carolina small businesses sold products to over 40 countries.
“This crucial program remains a useful resource for small and medium-sized business to expand their footprint,” Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said. “South Carolina has become an international player, and we hope that companies can continue to take advantage of all the tools available to them.”
The goal of STEP is to reimburse small businesses that participate in South Carolina Department of commerce trade missions, major trade exhibitions, and in U.S. Commercial Service programs. Export training by the South Carolina Department of Commerce is also financed by the grant.
“More than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is located outside of the United States, so this grant is great news for South Carolina companies looking to find new revenue,” Dorette Coetsee, South Carolina’s director at the U.S. Commercial Service said. “The world wants what South Carolina companies are selling, and our team is excited to work closely with the S.C. Department of Commerce to help South Carolina companies grow their international sales.”
Eligible companies may apply to STEP now until Sept. 29, 2017 by visiting the S.C. Department of Commerce website.