Minnesota Trade Office Awarded Over $500,000 from SBA for Export Promotion Program
Minnesota’s share of the federal STEP funding for this fiscal year is the twelfth highest out of 40 awards and 20 percent greater than last year.
STEP is open to first-time exporters or current exporters that are interested in expanding into new international markets. Qualifying companies can use the funding to participate in foreign trade missions, trade shows and other export-related activities.
“Exports create new jobs and increased revenue in Minnesota,” said Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. “The increase in federal funding for the STEP program will allow us to serve even more small business customers desiring to sell goods and services globally.”
Through June, fifty small businesses in Minnesota were approved for more than $309,000 in STEP funding. Companies have used the funding to explore markets in the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Peru, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, Australia, Germany, China, Sweden, Vietnam, Liberia, Brazil and Spain.
Companies that tapped the program to participate on Governor Mark Dayton’s successful trade mission to Mexico, Minnesota’s second largest trading-partner, include: Loll Designs (Duluth), Susan Burns LLC (Minneapolis), Goebel Fixture Company (Hutchinson), Prototype Career Service (St. Paul), Cotter Schools (Winona), Bioverse, Inc. (Worthington), Minnesota Soybean Processors (Brewster) and Brimacomb & Associates (Minneapolis).
The Minnesota Trade Office is focused on increasing the state’s export sales in foreign markets and attracting foreign direct investment to Minnesota. MTO representatives also promote the state’s economic interests through four overseas offices: Shanghai, China; Düsseldorf, Germany; Seoul, South Korea; and São Paolo, Brazil.