Office of International Trade

STEP Builds Upon Prior Success

SBA Announces $18 Million to Support Small Business Trade Growth  


Program Facts  

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), announced $18 million of State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) awards to support export growth of America’s small businesses. This year, 44 states earned a STEP award through SBA’s competitive award process for the Federal fiscal year (FY) 2017 to fund activities that promote small business export sales.

These latest awards will build upon the success of prior STEP awards. State and territory government recipients of STEP awards in the first three award years reported a strong return on Federal taxpayer investment (ROI). The FY 2011 awardees reported that $11 dollars of export sales for every Federal dollar awarded. The FY 2012 STEP awardees reported $28 dollars of export sales for every Federal dollar awarded.  And the FY 2014 STEP awardees reported a $37 dollars of export sales for every Federal dollar awarded. This funding has helped expand small business export development into 127 foreign export markets, to date. 


About the Program

STEP awards are earned by U.S. state and territory governments to support projects that help U.S. small businesses sell their goods and services to foreign buyers. This includes participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, subscription services to access international markets, as well as design of international marketing, export trade show exhibits, export training workshops, and more. Along with providing three distinct export trade finance loan programs, the SBA executes STEP to make it easier for small businesses to sell outside our borders.