TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Commerce and the Kansas Department of Agriculture have been chosen by the U.S. Small Business Administration as recipients of SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) , which will be used to provide much-needed export assistance to Kansas small and medium-sized businesses. The STEP program is funded in part through a grant with U.S. Small Business Administration. Since 2012, more than 50 Kansas small businesses have achieved $17.2 million in export sales through STEP programs.
The Kansas Department of Commerce, which administers the distribution of STEP funds in Kansas, is currently accepting applications from small businesses to assist them in starting or growing their exports. The Commerce programs will help businesses to begin exporting for the first time or expanding their existing export business.
“It’s a vast world out there, which provides enormous opportunities for Kansas businesses,” said Interim Kansas Commerce Secretary Nick Jordan. “There is a worldwide market for Kansas products and these STEP grants allow the Department of Commerce to assist small businesses across the state with starting, maintaining and growing their export business.”
“The international market is critical to growing the Kansas agriculture industry,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey. “Kansas agriculture is always ready to become highly engaged in export markets, and this grant will allow us to explore emerging markets for Kansas agricultural products.” Kansas exported nearly $3.6 billion in agricultural products in 2016.
Programs offered through the STEP Grant include:
- Export seminars and training courses
- Opportunities for participation in foreign trade shows and missions
- Support for entering new markets
For the current grant year, SBA has awarded Kansas $380,000 in STEP funding. Commerce is administering the grant in tandem with the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
Businesses that wish to apply for support or are interested in learning more should visit KansasCommerce.gov/STEP.