Puerto Rico has been assigned $288,650 through the Small Business Administration’s State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program to support activities to increase exporting by small businesses, the agency announced Monday.
The award, to be administered by the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company, is part of a global $17.4 million in funding made in 40 states, to help small businesses across the country access to help so they can enter and compete in the global marketplace
“Exports are a central part of America’s economic growth; with export-supported jobs paying 15 percent to 18 percent more. Yet less than one percent of small businesses export; and of those that do, 58 percent of them export to only one country,” said SBA Chief María Contreras-Sweet.
“Unlocking trade opportunities for small businesses is key to continued growth and expansion. SBA’s STEP program ensures local resources are available to help small businesses tap global markets,” she said. “By funding states and their export development partners, the SBA is delivering the tools and resources required for small businesses to launch their services and products abroad.”
With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, SBA’s STEP program ensures that small businesses can succeed in the 21st century global economy, she added.
The purpose of the 2015 awards is for states to assist small businesses with export related activities or other export initiatives that are in line with the objectives of the program. These objectives include participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, subscription services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as design of international marketing campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training workshops and more.
“We are very pleased that our strong partner and longtime collaborator, Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company, is once again the recipient of a STEP award to continue helping Puerto Rico small businesses explore foreign markets,” said SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo.
“Through the STEP program, we are ensuring that local entrepreneurs have the necessary support to thrive internationally, continue creating jobs, and fostering our economy,” she added.
The STEP program is designed to increase both the number of small businesses that begin to export and the value of exports for small businesses currently exporting. Expanding the base of small business exporters and making the process as easy as possible is a key component of the National Export Initiative.