SBA Awards Grant to S.C. Department of Commerce for Exporting Assistance

State of South Carolina receives SBA grant for seventh year
Release Date: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Release Number: 
18-0925
Contact: 
Savannah WIlburn, 803-253-3121

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The S.C. Department of Commerce has been awarded a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for the seventh year. This program is designed to support and encourage small business export success. The state was awarded its full requested amount of $360,400. SBA announced that $18 million in funding has been awarded to 47 State international trade agencies throughout the country.

“Over 98 percent of businesses that export in South Carolina are small businesses, and the need for exporting assistance continues to grow within the state,” said Gregg White, district director for the SBA South Carolina District Office. “The SBA’s STEP grant will enable the S.C. Department of Commerce to expand their reach in supporting small businesses looking to expand in international markets. We look forward to witnessing the growth and success that continues to come from this program.”

Projected to help more than 60 small and medium-sized businesses seize export opportunities this year, the grant funding reimburses small business participation in upcoming S.C. Commerce trade missions to Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Vietnam, Korea and Mexico; major trade exhibitions, such as the Paris Air Show and Arab Health; and, involvement in U.S. Commercial Service programs, such as Trade Winds Indo Pacific. It also finances training and other initiatives by S.C. Commerce, including counseling businesses through export processes and connecting firms with available resources. 

“With eight consecutive record years in total export sales, Team South Carolina understands that tremendous opportunities exist for our companies overseas,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “We are grateful to the U.S. Small Business Administration for once again awarding us with this grant, which will allow us to support South Carolina firms seeking to expand their reach to new markets around the globe.”

Since the beginning of the STEP program seven years ago, approximately $138 million in grants have been awarded to fund export opportunities and increase the footprint of small businesses in countries all over the world.  

“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.”