Gov. Jay Nixon announced Sept. 24 that Missouri has been awarded more than $1 million in competitive funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration to increase the number of Missouri small businesses that export their products, which will create more jobs and more investment in the Show-Me State.
The $1,017,448 in funding is part of the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant Program, established as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 to award grants to U.S. states to carry out export programs that assist eligible small businesses.
"Missouri's record-setting exports have been one of the highlights of our growing economy, and this award will further strengthen our state in this critical sector," Gov. Nixon said. "Increasing the number of small Missouri businesses that export their products to global markets and boosting the value of those exports will lead to more jobs and more investment in our state. These additional resources will help keep our economy moving forward."
The state of Missouri set a state record during 2011 with $14.1 billion in export sales revenue. Through the first half of 2012, the state is on pace to break that record, ahead of its 2011 export totals by 6 percent.
Last year, Missouri was awarded $977,742 in competitive funding through the STEP Program. Utilizing this funding, Missouri has been able to assist 378 new-to-market exporters and new-to-export small businesses through market expansion activities and export training. This assistance resulted in $22,324,000 in export transactions involving Missouri companies, creating 114 jobs while retaining 175. It also represented a return on investment of $23 in exports for Missouri companies for every $1 in federal funds.
In addition, funding from last year's STEP award to the state was utilized for the Governor's two successful trade missions to China and Brazil, culminating in $15 million in export sales for the small business which participated, as well as the opening of three new State of Missouri trade offices in Beijing, China; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Mumbai, India.
Under the program, Missouri businesses can receive funding to boost their exports, including participation in foreign trade missions and market sales trips; subscription to services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce; website foreign language translation services; design of international marketing materials; trade show exhibitions, and; participation in export and trade financing workshops.
Missouri businesses can access information and resources through the Export Missouri portal athttp://www.ded.mo.gov/exports/home.