The Oklahoma Department of Commerce announces the Oklahoma STEP Forward Enhancement Fund, part of the State Trade Expansion Program, an export promotion initiative that makes matching-fund grants for states to assist small businesses. This grant is funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“The intent of this program is 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,” said Jennifer Springer, Director of Global Recruitment and Trade Services, at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
Funding for this year will help eligible companies to offset the cost to participate at designated international trade shows and allow them to promote their Oklahoma-made products on a global scale. In addition, other services such as website translations and marketing design; compliance testing; and shipping of sample products into international markets can be used toward the grant as well.
“The STEP grant, in partnership between the U.S. and Oklahoma Department of Commerce, is an incredible opportunity for Oklahoma exporters to receive marketing assistance to promote their products or services worldwide,” said Chuck Mills, President of Mills Machine and previous STEP grant recipient. “The program enabled us to translate our website into another language which made it easier for our customers to understand our product line!”
To be considered for the Oklahoma STEP Fund, all applicants are required to submit an application and supporting documentation. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce will begin taking applications from Oklahoma small businesses starting November 1, 2016.
A full application, guidelines and requirements can be found online at www.okcommerce.gov/stepfund. For more information, contact the Global Recruitment and Trade Division at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce at (800) 879-6552, or 405-815-5136 or Jesse.Garcia@okcommerce.gov.