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ESD funding is available for small businesses pursuing exporting activity

By Eric Reinhardt (


Hope Knight — president, CEO, and commissioner of Empire State Development (ESD) — shown here, speaking at Syracuse University in April. ESD says it has received nearly $1 million in funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help small businesses in their exporting activities. (Photo by Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

Empire State Development (ESD) says it has nearly $1 million in funding available in the latest round of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provided the money, ESD said in its announcement.

STEP connects businesses in New York state to exporting opportunities abroad through grants for qualifying small and medium-sized businesses. The grants can help increase the number of small businesses that begin to export, boost the value of exports for small businesses that currently export, and increase the number of small businesses exploring “significant new trade opportunities.”

These reimbursement-based grants are available to companies in New York state that have been in business for at least one year, meet SBA size standards, have sufficient resources to bear trade costs, offer a product or service for export with at least 51 percent U.S. content, and align with STEP’s standards and mission.

By alleviating financial burdens, STEP enables small businesses to “expand their global reach and competitiveness,” ESD contends.

Global NY, the agency’s international division, administers STEP at ESD. For more information on STEP and to apply for funding, click here.

“Fortifying the foundation of small business exporters and enhancing their global competitiveness is integral to Global NY’s strategic framework for small businesses,” Hope Knight, president, CEO, and commissioner of Empire State Development, said in a statement. “ESD is committed to broadening opportunities for New York State’s small enterprises, facilitating their growth, and strengthening their competitive position on the world stage.”

ESD will receive $900,000 from SBA to assist New York State businesses with participation in programmed foreign-trade missions, subscription to services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, trade show exhibition (international and qualified domestic trade shows), participation in export training workshops, qualified foreign market sales trips, website content/foreign language translation, development of international marketing campaign(s), compliance testing, consultancy services, and export credit-insurance premium reimbursement, the agency said.


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