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By guest author Patty Brewer, Export Finance Manager with the SBA’s Office of International Trade

 

Robert Heinlein said there was no such thing as a free lunch. When you see ads for small business grants, you are right to be cautious. However, there is one grant program, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration that helps small business exporters access the international market. The State Trade Expansion Program or STEP, administered in Wyoming by the Wyoming Business Council, offsets your market development costs.

Taking advantage of the global market may seem exotic, but it’s a solid strategy to diversify your sales as many struggling small businesses learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, research has shown that small businesses engaged in international trade, grow faster, pay higher wages and are more resilient during tough economic times.

With a STEP grant, a Wyoming small business can receive up to $12,000 to offset costs associated with attending a trade show or trade mission. Qualified expenses are marketing material translations, shipping sample products, as well as transportation and lodging for two company representatives. To be eligible to apply your company should meet the small business size standard as defined by the Small Business Administration, your product should have 51% U.S. content, and you must have at least one full-time employee. Additional program details can be found here: Wyoming Export Program – Wyoming Business Council.

Robert Heinlein also said belief gets in the way of learning. Start your ‘learning’ with some solid market research, partially paid by the STEP grant, to determine if your company can prosper from overseas sales. Contact your STEP administrator today to find out how to apply.

Patty Brewer is an Export Finance Manager with the SBA’s Office of International Trade. Her territory includes Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. She can be reached at 720-556-4664 or patricia.brewer@sba.gov.

Upcoming Webinar on Wyoming State Trade Expansion Program

You can learn more about the State Trade Expansion Program by attending our upcoming webinar: How to Expand Your Business Into International Markets

 

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All Wyoming SBDC Network programs and services are provided to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Language assistance services for clients with limited English proficiency will be provided. Contact: Jill Kline at (307) 766-3405 or [email protected]
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.


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