A federal grant being made available to Delaware will assist the state in developing business opportunities in two of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world: China and Brazil.
Small businesses will receive training and information about how to break into these emerging markets through a $247-thousand grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) initiative.
“Exporting is an important way for small businesses to expand and create jobs that America needs right now,” U.S. Small Business Administration Delaware District Director Jayne Armstrong said. “Delaware will use this money in the first year of funding to help small firms participate in trade shows, to help them go on trade missions abroad, and to promote their goods and services to foreign markets.”
In Delaware, more than 850 small and medium-sized businesses are already involved in exporting, according to Armstrong.
Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock recently returned from a trip to China. “They have a lot of appetite for U.S. products, particularly in areas like medical technology and bio-tech,” Bullock said.
“Small business, as we all know, is the backbone of our state’s economy and the area where we see some of the best growth as we go forward,” Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn said. He added that the grant-funded program will help businesses overcome what he called “barriers to entry” in other countries.
The STEP grant program is a nationwide, $90-million, three-year component working to expand overseas opportunities for small businesses. It is aligned with President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which calls for doubling U.S. exports in five years, possibly supporting two-million jobs.
Delaware small business owners, executives and managers are invited to learn more at an export seminar this Friday, November 18th, at the Stanton campus of Delaware Technical and Community College. Registration for the event is free of charge and can be done online at http://stepforum.eventbrite.com/