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SBA awards State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation

Funding will be used to expand small business export programs throughout the state
Release Date: 
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Laura Schafsnitz, SBA Indiana Public Affairs

INDIANAPOLIS – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the state of Indiana is one of just 41 states to receive a cut of $18 million to support export growth among small businesses.   The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) was awarded $495,000 through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).  This is the first time in seven years that Indiana has successfully competed for a STEP award.

“We are excited that the IEDC has succeeded in bringing STEP funding back to the state of Indiana,” SBA Indiana District Director Stacey Poynter said.  “Programs and funding created through the STEP award SBA’s other export resources, including SBA-backed loans and local U.S. Export Assistance Centers, can open doors for small businesses to explore revenue streams they never dreamed existed abroad.”  

STEP is designed to meet three distinct goal:  increase the number of small businesses that export, increase the value of exports for small business, and to increase the number of small businesses who look at exporting as an option.

"As we work to remain competitive in today's global economy, Indiana recognizes the need to cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships around the world and ensure our businesses and people are connected to international markets," Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. "With the federal STEP grant, we'll help Indiana-based small businesses grow and sell Hoosier-made goods across the globe."

Today, trade represents nearly 58% of the world’s $80 trillion economy, and 95% of the world’s consumers are located outside the United States.  Exporting is an important way for U.S. small businesses to grow revenue and boost local economies. STEP is designed to assist states with increasing the number of small businesses that export and the value of those exports.

The 2019 STEP awards help provide small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export-related activities. Exporting activities include participating in foreign trade missions and foreign market sales trips, obtaining services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, accessing expertise in designing international marketing campaigns and export trade show exhibits, and participating in training workshops, as well as other important means of engagement.

Expanding the base of small business exporters and improving the process to explore new trade opportunities is a key component of SBA’s small business strategy. Since 2011, the STEP program has awarded approximately $157 million in grants to fund export opportunities and increase the footprint of small businesses in countries all over the world. 

Individual STEP awards are managed at the local level by state government organizations. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade administers the STEP awards at the national level.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

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