The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development said it has received a $2.35 million State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The grant will increase export assistance that is available to Pennsylvania's small businesses.
The goal of the STEP Initiative is to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and increase the value of exports for those small businesses.
The STEP funds will be awarded to qualifying Pennsylvania companies to participate in trade missions, shows and business development activities.
Through 18 SBDC locations across Pennsylvania, including locations at Lehigh University in Bethlehem and Kutztown University in Kutztown, small businesses and entrepreneurs are able to work with an international trade consultant to help them identify the best foreign markets for their company's products or services in addition to specific trade leads.
Companies may also receive assistance with importing products to the U.S.
The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) continues to work with state and federal trade partners to help hundreds of businesses successfully enter international markets.
In 2011, the Pennsylvania SBDC network grew its clients' international trade sales by $23.8 million and reported a total of $142.5 million in export sales.