The U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Colorado Department of Agriculture a $256,000 grant to promote new trade missions targeting small businesses.
Nationwide, the SBA has awarded 44 State Trade and Export Promotion awards valued at $18 million to support activities that increase exporting by small businesses. Through the STEP grant, the two state agencies will run eight trade missions that connect Colorado small businesses to international buyers and will also have funding available for individual international business development activities.
The key industry programs include:
• Medica in Düsseldorf, Germany
• Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain
• ANTAD in Guadalajara, Mexico
• Hannover Messe in Hannover, Germany
• Bar at National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago
• The Green Expo in Mexico City
• Americas Food and Beverage Show in Miami
• Speciality and Fine Food Fair in London,
“Exposing and enabling our business community to broader markets is unbelievably important to the local economy given the billions of new dollars, job retention and creation these exports bring to Colorado,” said Stephanie Copeland, executive director of the Office of Economic Development. “The STEP program is a key enabler for many of our small businesses to reach these markets”
With STEP funds, small businesses are able to learn the basics of exporting, participate in group trade missions to trade shows, travel for an individual international sales trip and develop websites or international marketing campaigns. Last year, Colorado’s STEP award helped small business across Colorado participate in trade shows in Munich, Mexico City and, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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