September 24, 2012

SBA shrinks CT's export-promo grant to $339K

Fresh on the heels of the Connecticut governor's China trade mission, the state is collecting $339,319 from the SBA to help small businesses promote their products and services overseas – a smaller sum than its initial award a year ago, officials say.

The federal Small Business Administration announced Monday that 47 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories will split $30 million in a second round of funding earmarked under the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) initiative.

Last year, awards totaled approximately $29 million, of which Connecticut's share was $546,822.

Launched in 2011, STEP's aim is to increase the number of small businesses that want to export and increase the value of exports for those small businesses that currently export.

"With 95 percent of the world's consumers living outside of the United States, exporting gives small businesses the opportunity to reach new markets, increase sales and create jobs," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills said in a statement announcing the awards. "The second round of STEP funding will be instrumental in helping small businesses start or expand their exporting opportunities so they can create an economy built to last."

This year, Massachusetts ($720,856) and Rhode Island ($412,474) will get larger sums than Connecticut, the SBA said. New Hampshire will get $293,692; Vermont, $212,533; and Maine, $121,000.

Puerto Rico's share is $455,559.

Individual state and territory project award amounts vary based on each state's proposed project plan and budget. (See federal funding by state and territory at http://www.sba.gov/step.)

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