U.S. Small Business Administration Awards Colorado $627,000 STEP Grant to Spur Small Business Exports

DENVER -- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has awarded the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) a $627,000 State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP) grant to promote international exports for small businesses. The State of Colorado has steadily increased its STEP funding since its inception. In 2015, Colorado received $195,938 and in 2019, it received $480,000. 

STEP funding is open to Colorado small business exporters to conduct international sales trips, attend international trade shows and develop websites or international marketing campaigns. Nationwide, the SBA provided these awards to a majority of U.S. states to support activities that increase exporting by small businesses.

Through the STEP grant, OEDIT and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) will also participate in ten trade shows that connect Colorado small businesses to international buyers.

The key industry programs include:

  • Arab Health in Dubai, UAE in January, 2022
  • Photonics West in San Francisco in January 2022
  • JEC World in Paris, France in March 2022
  • Hannover Messe in Hannover, Germany in April 2022
  • Green Expo in Mexico City, Mexico in September 2022
  • SIAL Canada in Montreal, Canada in April 2022
  • America’s Food and Beverage Show in Miami, Florida in September 2022
  • Toronto Food Terminal Mission
  • National Restaurant Association in Chicago, Illinois in May 2022

Last year, Colorado’s STEP award helped more than 50 small businesses across Colorado participate in trade shows in Mexico City, Mexico; and Dusseldorf, Germany.

About the State Trade Expansion Program

The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is a financial assistance program for aspiring and current Colorado exporters entering into a new global market. Funded in part by a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration, STEP provides grant awards to small businesses to offset international business development and marketing costs. Eligibility and application guidelines can be found on the website.

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