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Export Your Business to the Next Level with SBA

Release Date: 
Monday, October 7, 2019
Release Number: 
20-1007-KY
Contact: 
michael.ashcraft@sba.gov

By Ashley D. Bell, Region IV Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

Covering: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee

Exports are a central part of America’s economic growth. With 95% of all consumers living outside of our country, our nation’s businesses have an opportunity to reach two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power through international trade.  Through innovation and modern trade agreements, entrepreneurs have an opportunity now more than ever to focus their attention on the value of trade and the benefits of exporting. Today’s international business environment provides exponential growth opportunities for any small business owner.

The SBA has several resources to help entrepreneurs navigate doing business outside of the United States. Whether a business is located in an urban or rural setting, the SBA may assist from marketing, to seeking global clients, to financing an export deal. One great resource located across the Southeast are the SBA’s Export Finance Managers. These export specialists work hand in hand with the Department of Commerce and Ex-Im Bank to ensure the tools and resources are available to any entrepreneur to succeed in exporting. If someone is purchasing your good or service within the U.S., then there is a great chance consumers in another country will purchase as well. Learn more about how SBA resources and partners may assist you with exporting online here.

Today, trade represents 58% of the world’s $80 trillion economy. The SBA wants to help you be a part of that percentage. One way our agency boosts small business export-related activities is by providing competitive grants for entrepreneurs accessing international markets. The grant program is called the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), and the SBA recently awarded $18 million to 41 state international trade agencies that successfully competed for funding. The SBA partners with each  STEP grant winner to provide helpful resources to assist small businesses with engaging in trade activities, such as joining foreign trade missions, accessing expertise to design international marketing campaigns, and participating in training workshops to name a few. This program demonstrates how the SBA collaborates with states to best deliver the tools you need as an entrepreneur to succeed.

Several of the STEP grants have been awarded to states across the Southeast (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee), with nearly $2.5 million in funding. To learn more about the STEP grants, please visit here.

We look forward to helping you grow your business and take it international. To learn more about what is happening in your neighborhood, please follow us on twitter @SBASoutheast.