The State of Idaho received a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant of $445,000 to support the growth of Idaho small business exporters. The grant will fund projects occurring from September 30, 2021, through September 29, 2022.
The STEP program is funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is administered by the Idaho Department of Commerce. The goals of STEP are to increase the number of small businesses that export, increase the value of exports and increase the number of small businesses exploring significant new trade opportunities.
“The STEP Grant allowed us to take the risk of investing our time and money into pursuing an international market,” Air Vise and Workholding Business Manager Austin Jones said. “Whereas before we only had the resources to focus on sales here in the U.S. Without the grant, we would not have been able to grow our exports in the way we have done this past year.”
In the past grant year, participating companies reported more than $12 million in sales as a result of the program. Eligible companies received funds on a competitive basis to target approved export plans with awards ranging from $2,000 to $9,000 per project. Idaho small businesses were awarded $600,000 in industry sectors ranging from manufacturing and agriculture to aerospace and outdoor recreation.
“The STEP grant program has been incredibly beneficial for Idaho businesses and the Idaho economy to expand trade internationally,” Idaho Commerce Director Tom Kealey said. “Our Idaho Commerce International Team is looking forward to administering the funds for another successful year of this program.”