Home » Kentucky awarded $400,000 in State Trade Expansion Program Funding

Kentucky awarded $400,000 in State Trade Expansion Program Funding

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced the continued support of small-business growth statewide as the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) awarded the commonwealth $400,000 in State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) funds to help more companies export.

The grant program is marking its 10th anniversary of funding small business growth and provides companies with the information and tools needed to successfully sell their products and services worldwide.

Eligible Kentucky businesses may receive up to $10,000 in grant funding for year 10 of the STEP program. Companies can begin the application process now by visiting kyexports.com.

Exporting activities supported by STEP funding include valuable training and workshops for export readiness, participation in trade missions with international audiences, foreign market sales trips, design of international marketing media and exhibiting at trade shows with international audiences, as well as other meaningful engagement outside the United States. Since inception in 2011, Kentucky STEP has awarded over $2.7 million to more than 230 businesses across the state. With 95% of the world’s consumers and two-thirds of all purchasing power located outside the United States, this grant program plays a critical role in providing access to capital, access to markets and access to buyers.

In Kentucky, STEP has served as a leading example of how a state can partner with companies to expand and enter new markets. Since the program was established, the commonwealth has established itself as a major player on the global stage. In 2021, Kentucky companies bounced back strong in response to the pandemic by exporting more than $29.5 billion in products worldwide.

The Commonwealth is home to more than 360,000 small businesses that employ 716,000 people. That represents approximately 99.3% of all companies in the state. Small businesses have made significant contributions to Kentucky’s record economic success, and STEP has taken that momentum to new heights.

The program’s continued success is reflected in Kentucky receiving awards in each of the last ten cycles. Those resources have helped companies gain exposure on a global scale while also raising awareness of Kentucky-made products.

STEP is an SBA program administered by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development in the Commonwealth. Companies that meet the federally defined criteria of a small business and will export products that are at least 51% U.S. content could be eligible for a grant.

STEP also aligns with the Kentucky Export Initiative (KEI). Through KEI, the cabinet partners with a coalition of agencies and organizations to streamline and promotes the state’s efforts to help Kentucky businesses reach global markets.

The newly announced STEP funding builds on recent economic momentum in the commonwealth.

For more information or to apply for STEP funding, visit kyexports.com/step-grant. Email completed applications to STEP Program Manager Mary NeCamp at [email protected].

Click here for more Kentucky business news.

Popular Stories