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. For the current grant year, SBA has awarded Kansas $200,000 in STEP funding. Kansas Commerce is administering the grant in tandem with the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
The STEP program is funded in part through a grant with U.S. Small Business Administration. Since 2012, more than 100 Kansas small businesses have achieved $23 million in export sales through STEP programs.
The Kansas Department of Commerce 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.
“Kansas businesses operate in the global market, not just across the state,” said Interim Kansas Commerce Secretary Robert North. “In 2017, Kansas exports totaled $11.25 billion. Clearly, there is worldwide interest in Kansas products and these STEP grants allow the Department of Commerce to assist small businesses in starting, maintaining and growing their export business.”
“The international market plays a critical role in the Kansas agriculture industry,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey. “The state’s agricultural businesses are always ready to become highly engaged in export markets, and this grant will allow them to explore emerging markets as we grow Kansas agriculture.”
Kansas exported nearly $3.5 billion in agricultural products in 2017.
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
Businesses that wish to apply for support or are interested in learning more should visit KansasCommerce.gov/STEP.