Oregon Allocated New Round of Federal Funding to Drive Small Business Exports
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced its fifth year of funding for the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) this week, to help small businesses expand or launch trade efforts. Oregon has been leveraging this program for small businesses throughout the state since its inception.
"This program has been indispensable in pairing capital with trade expertise to get new revenue into the hands of small businesses across Oregon," said Chris Harder, director of Business Oregon. "More than 92,000 jobs in Oregon are supported by international business, with 6,000 Oregon companies exporting goods."
Oregon has awarded $816,000 through 301 grants through the first three years of the program. Those grants generated $42.4 million in actual sales reported from the participating businesses, while those firms estimate $188 million in future sales.
The grants reimburse up to $5,000 in matching funds to help with eligible expenses for activities like exhibition shows, trade missions, web site localization, and export training. The Business Oregon global strategies team also helps the companies along the way, to make the process of entering a new export market less daunting.
The program has worked for companies all across Oregon. Ride Development Co., of Independence, Oregon, is the leading bumper car manufacturer in the U.S., and used the program to attend a tradeshow in Dubai. Ride Development came away with $408,000 in immediate sales. Advanced Navigation and Position Systems, of Hood River, Oregon, manufactures location systems for aircraft. The company used the program to attend a trade event in the growing market of Brazil and came away with a six-figure sale with more expected.
Oregon is set to receive $562,500 in funds for this fifth year of the program. Learn more about the program and other global trade services.
Business Oregon, the state's lead economic development agency, works to create, retain, expand and attract businesses that provide sustainable, living-wage jobs for Oregonians through public-private partnerships, leveraged funding, and support of economic opportunities for Oregon companies and entrepreneurs.