Kansas and Missouri will each get a share of the latest round of federal STEP grants, which help small businesses compete as exporters.
Of the $18 million in grants that were just announced, the Kansas Department of Commerce will receive $380,000 while Missouri’s Division of Business & Community Services has been awarded $400,000.
STEP stands for the State Trade Expansion Program, an initiative of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The SBA awards grants to individual states, usually to their departments of commerce or economic development.
The states then help small businesses pay for a range of exporting-related efforts, such as trade missions, international marketing, translation services and more.
STEP originally spun out of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. The grant program started as a three-year pilot project, but it’s been popular enough to continue beyond that.
A total of 44 state-level programs are sharing in the most recent $18 million allocation.
“The awards will provide a solid foundation for small businesses planning to enter and set them up for success,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said.
Missouri uses its STEP funds through its STEP-UP program, which you can learn more about here.
Meanwhile, in the Sunflower State, the Kansas Department of Commerce offers STEP grants for export training, trade shows and other investments. More than 50 Kansas companies have received STEP grants since 2012, and they’ve gone on to generate $17.2 million in international sales.