JACKSON (Courtesy: Mississippi Development Authority) – The U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded the Mississippi Development Authority $600,000 for the State Trade Expansion Program to support Mississippi business interested in international trade.
“This funding is instrumental for Mississippi businesses wanting to grow their business by increasing international trade opportunities,” said MDA Deputy Director Laura Hipp. “The SBA’s commitment to Mississippi enables the state’s companies to win in the growing global economy.”
The STEP funding will be used to support export development and trade endeavors for eligible small businesses. From 2019 to date, STEP funds awarded to Mississippi have assisted over 200 companies as they participated in state-led global business development missions, which have resulted in more than $77 million in actual and projected sales.
STEP allows MDA to provide financial and technical assistance to small- and medium-sized Mississippi companies interested in growing their business through trade. Administered by MDA’s International Trade Office, the program reduces some of the financial obstacles qualifying businesses face when identifying export opportunities.
The program also helps offset certain costs related to participating in trade missions and other international business development activities. It reimburses eligible businesses up to 50 percent of their travel costs, provides translation services at no cost, customized and pre-arranged business development appointments with prospective international qualified buyers, and transportation assistance.
The STEP Grant Initiative was authorized in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Under the statute, the 50 states, District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa, are eligible to compete for award of matching-fund grants.
Mississippi companies interested in learning more about STEP funding should contact MDA’s International Trade Office at (601) 359-3155 or go to mississippi.org/trade.