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SBA Awards FY 2019 State Trade Expansion Program Grants

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SBA Awards Texas $500K to Expand Small Business Exporting

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HARLINGEN – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that $500,000 has been awarded  to the Texas Department of Agriculture who successfully competed for funding to support export growth among small businesses through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).  

“STEP is a great example of a true export development and promotion tool for preparing U.S. small businesses for international opportunities,” said District Director Angela Burton. “STEP grant awardees will offer the resources to help small businesses get in front of international businesses, increase and diversify their customer base and help to create and retain local jobs.”

Today, trade represents nearly 58% of the world’s $80 trillion economy, and 95% of the world’s consumers are located outside the United States.  “Exporting is an important way for U.S. small businesses to grow revenue and boost local economies,” Burton said.  STEP is designed to assist states with increasing the number of small businesses that export and the value of those exports.

The 2019 STEP awards will help SBA’s the Lower Rio Grande Valley District assist small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export-related activities. Exporting activities include: participating in foreign trade missions and foreign market sales trips, obtaining services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, accessing expertise in designing international marketing campaigns and export trade show exhibits, and participating in training workshops, as well as other important means of engagement.


Expanding the base of small business exporters and improving the process to explore new trade opportunities is a key component of SBA’s small business strategy. Since 2011, the STEP program has awarded approximately $157 million in grants to fund export opportunities and increase the footprint of small businesses in countries all over the world. 

Individual STEP awards are managed at the local level by the Texas Department of Agriculture. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade administers the STEP awards at the national level. 

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