Indiana Secures Grant to Assist Small Businesses in Reaching Global Markets

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 12, 2019) – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced Indiana as the recipient of a $495,000 State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant, supporting the state’s efforts to develop and expand export-related activities among small businesses and open up new markets for Hoosier-made goods around the world. 

“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.”

The STEP program, which is administered by the SBA’s Office of International Trade, is designed to increase the number of small businesses that export goods and to increase the value of exports from small businesses. Since its initial launch, the STEP program has awarded approximately $157 million in grants to U.S. small businesses.

Under the program, eligible small businesses may apply with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) for reimbursements of export-related activities like participating in international trade missions, foreign trade shows and export educational programs, as well as other export services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The IEDC will match the federal grant with $165,000, increasing the total funding available to Indiana small businesses to $660,000. 

“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 and 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.”   

Indiana’s STEP grant, which aims to help diversify Hoosier small businesses’ customer bases and support job creation, complements efforts already underway to assist companies with identifying, marketing and selling their products or services around the world. Specifically, the Export Indiana Fellowship, which is managed by the Indiana Small Business Development Center in partnership with Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and The International Center, is a three-month long program that helps small businesses create ready-to-execute export plans in order to drive growth and position their business in the international marketplace. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Indiana ranks in the top 15 exporting states, with businesses shipping products and goods such as automotive parts, pharmaceuticals and agricultural commodities to global customers. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Gov. Holcomb’s eighth international economic development trip to support Indiana’s global economy, strengthening partnerships, increasing connectivity with global markets and attracting investment and jobs to the Hoosier state. 

More information about the state’s STEP program and how Indiana small businesses can apply will be available in the coming months. 

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