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$2 million in export assistance funds available for Michigan’s small businesses

The amount is the maximum awarded by the SBA and a $650,000 increase from 2021.
The state received $2 million in federal grant funds to help Michigan small businesses grow in...
The state received $2 million in federal grant funds to help Michigan small businesses grow in the state through increased access to global markets. The amount is the maximum awarded by the SBA and a $650,000 increase from 2021.
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 11:38 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - For the fifth consecutive year, Michigan has received the top award in the country from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) State Trade Expansion Program for the forthcoming fiscal year.

The state received $2 million in federal grant funds to help Michigan small businesses grow in the state through increased access to global markets. The amount is the maximum awarded by the SBA and a $650,000 increase from 2021.

The funds are expected to assist more than 350 Michigan companies in increasing international sales.

“These federal STEP grants are vital to helping businesses across Michigan create and gain access to new revenue streams as they compete in today’s global economy,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “As we continue making investments at the state level to grow our middle class and support small businesses, we welcome this infusion of federal funding from the Small Business Administration to help even more Michigan businesses grow, fostering increasing international collaboration and prosperity for all.”

Managed by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s International Trade program, this year’s SBA award aids export development for small- and medium-sized businesses via financial assistance grants for virtual and in-person trade missions, international sales trips, and trade shows along with website translation, localization, and search engine optimization and more. The Michigan STEP grant initiative (MI-STEP) aims to promote job creation by empowering Michigan small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to export their products, supplying financial assistance awards for eligible export development-related expenses.

The Michigan Strategic Fund is supplying an added $667,000 to support MI-STEP, which has been supporting financial assistance for exporting activities of eligible Michigan businesses for a decade. To date, MEDC’s International Trade program has helped more than $4.1 billion in export sales through federal and non-federally funded programs. In fiscal year 2020, export sales produced a total of $592 million for Michigan businesses.

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