California Receives Federal Grant for Global Trade Expansion Program

California has received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help California small businesses boost trade and exports abroad. The grant was allocated to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

“California is the 5th largest economy in the world and this announcement bolsters the state’s efforts to help more small businesses become international exporters,” said GO-Biz Director Panorea Avdis. “Small businesses can use these funds to connect with international customers, market products globally, and identify new business opportunities. These resources empower companies to scale-up operations, create new jobs, and grow our local California economies. We look forward to further expanding this program to bring more California business into the global economy.”

The grant is part of SBA’s State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program, which awarded grants to 47 states and territories to support activities to increase exports by U.S. small businesses. SBA administrator Linda McMahon, a member of President Trump’s Cabinet, announced the grant award on September 28 in Washington, D.C.

The awards were created to advance key priorities in the 2010 President’s National Export Initiative (NEI), namely to expand the base of small businesses that become exporters and to make the exporting process as easy as possible for small businesses.

“California understands the importance of international markets, trading partners and what exports mean to our local communities,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “This award will help further assistance to small businesses and help them to maximize their potential in foreign markets. 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 previous years. This is the second year GO-Biz and the CDFA will jointly administer the program. In addition to the federal support, California and its partner agencies will provide $349,999 in matching funds, bringing the total program funds to $999,999.

GO-Biz and CDFA will work with other partners, including the California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD), the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Orange County Business Council, in providing trade promotion programs.

GO-Biz and CDFA will use the funds to help small businesses participate in activities like foreign export trade show exhibitions, foreign trade missions, tailoring the sales of products and/or services, foreign market sales trips, subscription services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as designing international marketing campaigns, and more.

For more information on the California STEP program, visit California STEP. For additional information on SBA’s STEP program and the fiscal year 2018 awardees, visit the Small Business Administration.