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Mississippi’s small businesses to expand exports

The Mississippi Development Authority has been awarded $540,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help Mississippi’s small businesses enter into and compete in the global marketplace.

The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant will be used to support export development and trade endeavors for eligible small businesses. This is the MDA’s seventh consecutive year of receiving the STEP grant on behalf of Mississippi.

“I consider this an opportunity to spotlight the state of Mississippi, MDA and the SBA, highlighting our respective brands, bringing attention to the STEP Program as one great example of state and federal government here working in concert to make some good things happen for small businesses and entrepreneurs – and in this instance, in the great big wide world of exporting,” said Janita R. Stewart, SBA Mississippi District Director.

The STEP program is designed to increase both the number of small businesses that begin to export and the value of exports for small businesses currently engaged in this multi-national commercial activity.

“The STEP Program is a valuable resource for Mississippi companies seeking to increase their export operations,” Governor Phil Bryant said. “These funds will enhance the state’s efforts to assist Mississippi’s exporters in achieving success in the global marketplace.”

Mississippi small businesses will have the opportunity to participate in marketing events throughout North, Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Overall, the SBA is awarding $18 million in funding 47 State international trade agencies through their competitive STEP program.

“The STEP Program is instrumental to Mississippi successfully increasing trade opportunities for the state’s businesses,” said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. “To date, 2017 STEP funds awarded to Mississippi have assisted 62 companies as they participated in state-led global business development missions, which have resulted in more than $70 million in actual and projected sales. The SBA’s commitment to Mississippi enables the state’s companies to win in today’s global economy.”

Since the beginning of the STEP program seven years ago, approximately $138 million in grants have been awarded to fund export opportunities and increase the footprint of small businesses in countries all over the world.

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