U.S./International Business News

State of Iowa receives State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant to help companies grow and expand export markets

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September 24, 2019 (Des Moines) – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has been awarded a competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant in the amount of $200,000. STEP is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade and provides grants to states for small business exporting assistance programs. The aim of the STEP Initiative is to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and increase the value of their exports.

“This grant will not only enhance the current activities of our International Trade Office, but also provide Iowa companies with the resources necessary to elevate their global presence,” said Debi Durham, director of the IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority. “Exports are critical to Iowa’s businesses, and it’s more important than ever that we help our business owners navigate international regulations and trends to be successful.”

IEDA’s International Trade Office administers financial assistance programs that are funded through both state dollars and the federal STEP grant. Funds are disbursed via the following programs to help eligible Iowa companies develop or expand their export markets:

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  • Market Trade Assistance Program (MTAP) – Offers financial assistance for certain market compliance and export marketing expenses to enter/expand into an identified market.
  • Domestic Trade Assistance Program (DTAP) – Provides assistance for exhibiting at qualifying international trade shows held in the U.S. to explore and/or expand international markets.
  • Export Trade Assistance Program (ETAP) – Offers financial assistance for participating in international trade shows or trade missions.
  • ExporTech Trade Assistance Program (ETech) – Provides reimbursement for participation in the Center for Industrial Research and Service sponsored ExporTech™ training program.

“We are a small business competing on a global scale. DTAP and ETAP grants expand our marketing budget, helping to offset the costs of exhibiting at trade shows in order to promote our products to an international market. In fact, the funding enabled us to participate in the first foreign trade show in our company’s history,” said Ryan Murphy, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Development at Marion Process Solutions.


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