SBA awards Utah $500,000 State Trade Expansion Program Grant

DENVER – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) will receive a $500,000 grant to support export growth among small businesses through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). This year’s award to WTC Utah is a $200,000 increase over the amount awarded to it in 2018, which is the largest increase among all grantees nationwide.

“Congratulations to the World Trade Center for receiving a substantial increase in funding this year,” said Marla Trollan, district director for the SBA Utah District Office. “We are thrilled about the potential this will provide to Utah businesses to grow and expand globally. Utah continues to be a leader in supporting small business exports and we are excited to work in collaboration with the WTC to continue this success,” she said.

WTC Utah’s mission is to lead Utah’s international business development and elevate Utah’s global status to promote prosperity and build economic resilience. One of the ways WTC Utah accomplishes this mission is by empowering Utah businesses to expand international sales to increase revenue and create jobs. By partnering with the SBA, WTC Utah is better positioned to help boost Utah’s economy and promote Utah as a global player.

“STEP Grant funding acts as a catalyst for Utah companies to actualize their international potential,” said Miles Hansen, president and CEO of WTC Utah. “Utah’s export growth ranks 4th in the nation. Through administering the STEP Grant, WTC Utah plans to continue building on Utah’s international success while increasing prosperity statewide.”

The 2019 STEP funding will help WTC Utah provide Utah small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export-related activities. Exporting activities include participating in foreign trade missions and foreign market sales trips; obtaining services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce; accessing expertise in designing international marketing campaigns and export trade show exhibits; and participating in training workshops as well as other important means of engagement. 

“SBA is proud to partner with the STEP grant winners and provide much-needed resources that help small businesses increase their sales by exporting,” said Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton. “These grants are especially helpful as our country is in the midst of negotiating a number of trade agreements, including one between the United States–Mexico–Canada (USMCA). All of the Administration’s work is aimed at modernizing and creating a better deal for America’s consumers, businesses, including small businesses, and workers. The SBA’s STEP partners not only help entrepreneurs increase and diversify their customer base; they also help to create and retain local jobs.”

Today, trade represents nearly 58% of the world’s $80 trillion economy, and 95% of the world’s consumers are located outside the United States. Exporting is an important tool for U.S. small businesses to grow revenue and boost local economies. STEP is designed to assist states with increasing the number of small businesses that export and the value of those exports. Since 2011, the STEP program has awarded approximately $157 million in grants to fund export opportunities and increase the footprint of small businesses in countries all over the world.

“It is a little-known fact that 98 percent of America’s exports are driven by small firms that sell their products and services globally,” said SBA Regional Administrator Dan Nordberg. “This federal STEP grant ensures that small businesses in Utah will have the tools necessary to expand and market their products and services to international markets.”