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ESD: Global NY receives federal grant to promote New York exports and support small businesses

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Thu, Oct 20th 2016 06:00 pm

U.S. Small Business Administration awards state more than $600,000

Empire State Development announced Global NY, the agency's international division, has been awarded a $602,115 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to support the growth of New York exports to foreign markets around the globe. When combined with state matching funds, the STEP program will invest more than $920,000 in small businesses statewide through September 2017.

"Small businesses comprise more than 98 percent of the businesses in New York state, and they're the backbone of our economy," ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said Thursday. "Thanks to the help of our federal partners at SBA, we will be able to utilize federal funding to enhance our successful Global NY program and continue to help New York state businesses expand to new markets around the world."

The purpose of the STEP program is to increase the number of new small business exporters, to increase the value of exports by small businesses, and to expand job creation and retention through export activity.

The STEP program will assist New York small businesses in:

  • Participation in foreign trade missions and trade shows;
  • Foreign market sales trips;
  • Gold Key services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce;
  • Website and/or marketing material translation services; and
  • International trade workshops that align with the program objectives.

This is the fifth year in a row the state has won this competitive award. ESD's Global NY will administer the grant funding to help small businesses increase their export sales in international markets.

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said, "Exporting provides tremendous opportunities for America's small businesses and entrepreneurs. Two-thirds of the world's purchasing power can be found outside of the United States, but only about 1 percent of America's 28 million small businesses are reaching customers beyond our borders. Exporting is an important growth opportunity for our small businesses that are ready to expand their reach into new and increasingly borderless global markets. These STEP awards, in addition to SBA's export loans and U.S. Export Assistance Centers, help small businesses across our nation have the tools, resources and relationships they need to take their businesses global."

In Round 1 of the STEP program, 68 small businesses received grants from the state; in Round 2, 18 businesses received grants; in Round 3, 91 businesses received grants to participate in 99 trade activities; and in Round 4, which concluded on Sept. 29, more than 120 businesses received grants for 155 trade activities.

As of Sept. 30, funding for Round 5 is being awarded to small businesses on a first-come, first-served basis until all program funds are committed. For events to be covered by the funding, they must be completed by Sept. 29, 2017. Additionally, special consideration will be given to companies that are certified MWBE firms and to businesses that are classified among New York state's manufacturing strategic industries, which include, but are not limited to aerospace; agriculture; beverages and processed foods; biotech and life sciences; clean tech and renewable energy; nanoelectronics and nanotechnology, among others.

In addition to STEP grants, the Global NY Fund disburses $2 million in annual loans and grants to help small New York businesses with exports. Loans of up to $500,000 are available for companies to purchase equipment and inventory needed to deliver on export-related contracts and provide working capital to support foreign accounts receivable. Additionally, interest-free loans of up to $50,000 are available for distilled and fermented beverage industry businesses to promote New York's thriving beverage industry on a global scale. The fund also provides grants of up to $25,000 to help companies start exporting or increase their global exports, and up to $50,000 for nonprofits that provide export assistance and trade education to New York companies.

Businesses interested in applying for STEP grants or other export assistance can contact ESD's Global NY Division via email ([email protected]) or call 212-803-2300. For more information about the Global NY initiative, visitwww.global.ny.gov.

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