CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced West Virginia has been selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to receive $200,000 in State Trade and Export (STEP) grant funding to support a new export assistance program under the West Virginia Development Office – West Virginia First STEP-Next STEP.
“When West Virginia businesses enter markets around the world, they help foster trade opportunities, support job growth and diversify our economy here at home,” Gov. Tomblin said. “For years, our state’s exporters have demonstrated that local operations can make an impact not only in our communities and our state, but around the globe. It is my hope this grant program will not only support our state’s current exporters, but also those interested in entering the export market for the first time.”
The West Virginia First STEP-Next STEP program will provide additional assistance to West Virginia small businesses that export goods to international markets. The STEP grant period will run from October 1, 2015 through September 29, 2016.
The program will help qualifying small businesses offset their costs of participation in export activities, including Development Office trade missions, international trade shows and “Trade Winds” conferences organized by the U.S. Commercial Service. Direct assistance will also be available to West Virginia exhibitors at the 2016 Mine Expo International show.
Since 1985, the International Division of the West Virginia Development Office’s Export Promotion Program has led delegations of small- and medium-sized companies on trade missions and participated in international trade shows in more than 30 countries.