PIERRE, S.D. – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced today that it was awarded another grant from the United State Small Business Administration (SBA), this time a State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant in the amount of $116,250. The SBA recently awarded GOED a FAST grant to promote entrepreneurs and commercialization of innovations.“Trade is vital to our economy. South Dakota had close to $1.4 billion in exports in 2015,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “This grant will support businesses in our state that wish to export products to new markets across the world.”The STEP grant program is an export initiative that provides matching funds to states that assist small businesses with international trade development. The program’s objectives are to increase the number of U.S. small businesses that export and the value of those exports. State government organizations manage STEP activities locally, while the SBA’s Office of International Trade manages activities at the national level.“This grant will build on our mutual international trade efforts statewide, including the multi-agency Export Awareness Workshops being held in October,” said John L. Brown II, South Dakota SBA district director. “Workshop attendees will meet local and regional international business experts and will learn more about grant assistance that may be available to facilitate overseas sales.”South Dakota small businesses interested in utilizing STEP grant assistance are encouraged to attend upcoming Export Awareness Workshops that will be hosted this October in Sioux Falls, Watertown and Yankton. The GOED is also in the process of exploring a possible trade mission in 2017 with the aid of STEP funds, and it will survey South Dakota businesses before the end of the year to determine interest. Details and registration information can be found on the calendar at www.sdreadytopartner.com, or by contacting Alex Smith, STEP grant project director at the GOED, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 605.782.3287.
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