California will be receiving significant funding support to help promote trade development for small businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has granted $600,000 to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). The funding will be used to assist small businesses to take part in activities such as foreign trade shows, trade missions, and market sales trips through the California State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).
“International trade is a critical part of California’s economy,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a press release. “This award will help to fuel economic growth by allowing small businesses to expand export opportunities, compete in foreign markets, and support jobs here in California. As the nation’s largest agricultural producer and exporter, our farmers, ranchers and food processors benefit from open markets, export sales and a global consumer base.”
California has received STEP funding in years past, and it will be the third year that CDFA and GO-Biz will jointly administer the program. The STEP program has awarded approximately $157 million in grant funding since 2011, facilitating trade development and helping small businesses build a presence abroad. California and other partner agencies will also be providing an additional $323,076 in matching funds, which will bring the total amount of funding support to $923,076.
“We look forward to the continued support from the US Small Business Administration. State access to STEP funds have allowed us to create opportunities for small businesses to market their products globally, scale their operations, meet new international customers, and create jobs across our state,” said Bud Colligan, GO-Biz Senior Advisor for International Affairs and Trade. “As the world’s 5th largest economy, California needs to make sure our small businesses are integrated into the global economy and the STEP program allows us to do just that.”