The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has recieved a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. TDA will administer the STEP program through partnerships that include the Office of the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism Division, the University of Texas at San Antonio - International Trade Center and the U.S. Department of Commerce. No other federal funds will be matched against this award.
The program’s objectives are to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and to increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting. The STEP program will take the necessary steps to create or expand their export capacity and provide financial assistance along the way to help them achieve success.
Texas’ STEP program will encompass recruitment, training and planning, and execution of export trade activities; including trade show involvement and assist with small business export development.
Texas-based small businesses that: 1) meet SBA “Small Business Concern” size guidelines; 2) is not debarred from federal funding; and 3) have a product/service manufactured, produced, processed or have value-added in Texas, are eligible to participate in the STEP Program.
To incentivize companies to enter new international markets and provide the customized assistance needed, TDA will provide post-completion reimbursement of up to $5,000 to eligible businesses for approved export activities which include the following:
- Customized U.S. Commercial services include Initial Market Check/Gold Key Matching Services, and International Partner Search, etc.
- Design of international marketing products or campaigns
- Expert financial counseling for companies in need of more sophisticated support
- Develop websites to attract foreign buyers
- Fees for shipping sample products
- Foreign language translations
- Foreign market sales trips
- Non-state participation in foreign trade missions and trade shows
- Services to support foreign market entry
- Website translation, search engine optimization, localization services