As part of a $30 million nationwide grant initiative, the U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded Missouri $977,742 for use in fostering increased exports.
The grants were made possible by President Obama's Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, specifically the State Trade and Export Promotion Program, according to a news release.
“Strengthening the nation’s economy through a substantial increase of U.S. exports is a top priority for the administration and the agency,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said in the release. “This is a unique partnership between the federal government and the states.
"Sharing responsibilities and resources will help new small exporters across the country enter and succeed in the global market.”Missouri's funding
is geared toward supporting reverse trade missions with China, Mexico and Korea, markets able to aid the state's agricultural sector comprising livestock, forestry products, grains, food processing and wine beverages.
STEP grants provide federal funding for 65 percent to 75 percent of program costs, with states/territories picking up the tab for the remainder.
Missouri falls in the top tier of funding, $900,000 to $10 million. STEP grants are being provided to 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands. The application process began in March, the release said.
The grants align with the president's National Export Initiative, which calls for doubling U.S. exports in five years and providing support for 2 million jobs.