SALT LAKE CITY – Through the generosity of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the state of Utah will provide Utah companies with $1 million in grant funding over the coming year. The funding will provide businesses with the resources they need to succeed in export-related activities. The World Trade Center of Utah (WTC Utah) works with the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah) to administer the SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grants.
Each year, WTC Utah applies for this funding on behalf of the state through a nationally competitive application process; SBA’s Utah SBA STEP grant has more than tripled over the past four years. Combined with the state’s leading trade promotion program, this grant is a game-changer for Utah small businesses looking to pursue international sales and opportunities. The grant provides financial support and business services to hundreds of Utah small businesses to compete and win in the global marketplace.
Small businesses can apply for SBA STEP Grant support to offset various costs associated with pursuing international sales (eg, designing international marketing media; using services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce; website optimization, localization and translation; travel expenses) in foreign markets sales trips; and participation in international trade missions, trade shows, export training programs, etc.).
“Through SBA STEP grants, Utah small businesses have the opportunity to expand into global markets,” said SBA Utah Regional Director Marla Trollan. “Without these funds and the support of the Utah World Trade Center, many businesses would not be willing to step into international sales. With this support, businesses feel they can solve tasks that often seem impossible. The SBA STEP Grant program not only helps to Utah businesses, and to help international efforts and the economy throughout the state.”
In July, Cache Valley’s Power Systems (EP Systems) used an SBA STEP grant to help cover travel expenses and exhibit at the Utah booth at the Farnborough International Airshow in London. A leading supplier of high-power, scalable powertrains, EP Systems officially partnered with Tokyo-based SkyDrive, developer of flying cars and cargo drones; and Supernal, the urban air mobility arm of Hyundai Motor Group, at the airshow.
“We’re excited about our innovative technology enabling aircraft to fly halfway around the world,” shared Abbie Bean, Marketing Communications Manager at EP Systems. “The SBA STEP grant not only helped us pay for travel and Farnborough Airshow booth space funding, and our experience is enhanced by being part of the Utah delegation. We benefit from the team’s success and experience while building international connections.”
With 95% of the world’s consumers and two-thirds of purchasing power located outside the United States, the grant program plays a key role in providing access to capital, markets, and buyers. Last year, businesses benefited from $42 in export sales for every $1 in state funding for SBA STEP grants.
This year marks 10th Year of STEP funding. Through the program, $20 million in grant funding was provided to state international trade agencies across the country in the coming year.
“We love seeing these types of grants in our state and it really helps our small businesses succeed. Small businesses are thriving in Utah and this is a great opportunity for them,” Go Utah Executive Director Dan Hemmert said. “We invite everyone who is eligible to apply. We would also like to thank the SBA for making this grant possible.”
“Small businesses in Utah excel at using these grants to generate new international sales. We’ve been rewarded with consulting services from U.S. Business Services and other international consultants, international business travel and trade show visits, and many other events,” WTC Utah Chief Operating Officer David Carlebach said, “We are very eager to find small statewide businesses, especially those in diverse and rural communities, that can benefit from this funding.”
Applications for the SBA STEP Grant for WTC Utah are open and Utah businesses are encouraged to apply at wtcutah.com/sba-step-grant. If you have any questions about eligibility or accepted activities, please contact Jacob Johnson of WTC Utah at: [email protected].