STATEWIDE – The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) is awarding up to $10,000 to small businesses to apply, by Nov. 18 for first round funding, for money to help cover the costs associated with entering and expanding into international markets. The federally funded grant program aims to increase export activities among small businesses.
“In the past decade, more than 1,200 California small businesses have participated in overseas activities through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), which has generated more than $85 million in export sales – a true indication of the economic resiliency that exporting can support,” said California Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provided $600,000 for GO-Biz to administer $10,000 grants to California small businesses. In order to be eligible for the program, small businesses must be:
- For-profit Business
- Organized or incorporated in the U.S.
- Majority operations in California
- Exporting goods or services of U.S. origin or that have at least 51% U.S. content.
- Meet SBA small business size standards.
- Registered to do business in the State of California and in good standing with the California Secretary of State.
- Or, if registered as a sole proprietorship, registered and in good standing with their respective county.
- In business for at least one year at the time that the funded activity takes place.
- Have sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade, including the costs of packing, shipping, freight forwarding, and customs brokers.
Other program guidelines apply.
Eligible business expenses include international trade show expenses, website translations, graphics costs for foreign markets, and export-import credit insurance fees.
“Exporting businesses grow their sales faster, create more jobs, and pay their employees more than non-exporting businesses,” said GO-Biz Deputy Director of International Affairs and Trade Emily Desai. “With this new round of STEP funding, we are looking forward to working with our partners across the state to ensure those benefits are made available to even more California small businesses, particularly those that have historically lacked access to economic opportunity.”
For more information about the STEP grant visit https://export.business.ca.gov/program-details/