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Governor Laura Kelly Celebrates Funding to Help Kansas Small Businesses Participate in Global Trade

Sep 23, 2022

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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today applauded the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on its announcement of a $200,000 award to the Kansas Department of Commerce. 

The award will be used by the agency’s International Division in its State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). STEP helps small businesses begin to export their goods and existing exporters expand.  

“Helping small businesses grow, hire and succeed has always been one of my administration’s top priorities,” Governor Kelly said. “This grant will accelerate our work, expanding our state’s reach into markets around the world.” 

The SBA began administering STEP in 2011 as part of federal legislation encouraging trade. Through STEP, states competitively apply for and receive financial awards to assist small businesses with export development. This award will allow Kansas to provide small businesses with vital information and other resources needed to succeed in export-related activities, including participating in foreign trade missions and foreign market sales trips, obtaining services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, accessing expertise in designing international marketing campaigns and export trade show exhibits, and participating in training workshops. 

“We make a lot of great things here at home and I am always looking for ways to help Kansas small businesses grow and reach a wider audience,” Representative Sharice Davids, (KS-03), said. “The Kansas STEP program has a history of success, and I am proud to support their mission.” 

“We know, without question, that broadening the exporter base and increasing export values and volumes boosts our economy,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “The International Division has been truly exceptional in assisting Kansas exporters, and the awarding of this grant drives home the effectiveness of those efforts.” 

Since the program’s inception in 2012, more than 200 Kansas small businesses have participated and achieved more than $44 million in actual export sales. 

“The STEP program has been instrumental in assisting our small- and medium-sized companies competing in global markets,” International Division Director Jeff Willis said. “We are looking forward to working with the SBA and Kansas businesses to increase the value of our exports and the number of Kansas exporters.”  To learn more about the STEP program, visit the Kansas Department of Commerce website here or the SBA site here.