The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has awarded the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) a $700,000 State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP) grant to promote international exports for small businesses. This is a $200,000 increase from OEDIT’s 2022 award.
With this funding, the Global Business Development Division of OEDIT will continue its work to help small businesses across Colorado participate in activities that promote international sales and trade. Last year, Colorado’s STEP award helped more than 50 small businesses across Colorado conduct international business development activities.
“STEP funding is critical to the State of Colorado in supporting small businesses export internationally, whether they are conducting market expansion or entering a new market,” said Rama Haris, Advanced Industries Senior Manager of the Global Business Development division within OEDIT. “With this increased funding amount we are looking forward to serving and supporting more Colorado companies.”
STEP funding is available to Colorado small business exporters to conduct international sales trips, attend international trade shows and develop websites or international marketing campaigns. Businesses can begin applying on September 11, 2023 for activities starting after September 30, 2023.
Through the STEP grant, OEDIT and the Colorado Department of Agriculture will 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, 2024
- Photonics West in San Francisco in January 2024
- Singapore Airshow in Changi, Singapore in February 2024
- JEC World in Paris, France in March 2024
- Hannover Messe in Hannover, Germany in April 2024
- Green Expo in Mexico City, Mexico in September 2024
- ANTAD in Guadalajara, Mexico in March 2024
- IFE in London, England in March 2024
- SIAL Canada in Toronto, Canada in May 2024
- National Restaurant Association in Chicago, Illinois in May 2024
- America’s Food and Beverage Show in Miami, Florida in September 2024