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S.C. Commerce awarded grant to support export assistance programs

State of South Carolina receives U.S. Small Business Administration funding

The South Carolina Department of Commerce (S.C. Commerce) has been awarded a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) for the 10th consecutive year. The state received its full requested amount of $250,000 to support and encourage small business export success.

“Export services are key in helping companies grow their business and reach new markets,” said Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III. “We are grateful to the U.S. Small Business Administration for once again awarding our state with this grant, which will allow us to support South Carolina companies looking to expand their reach around the globe.”

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of STEP funding, which continues to support export growth and international expansion among small businesses. To date, the program has awarded more than $200 million in grants nationwide to directly support small businesses going global.

"More than 83% of businesses that export in South Carolina are small- and medium-sized enterprises,” said R. Gregg White, district director for the SBA South Carolina District Office. “S.C. Commerce has been very successful in using these funds to support businesses wanting to tap into foreign markets, and we look forward to seeing the state’s export services continue to grow.”

This latest round of grant funding is projected to assist 35-40, small- and medium-sized companies in South Carolina. Along with helping support and expand statewide export services, the funding reimburses a portion of grantee companies’ participation in S.C. Commerce trade missions. The funding also provides these companies an opportunity to participate in major international trade exhibitions and U.S. Commercial Service programs. 

“The U.S. Commercial Service is excited to support the state’s initiatives to help companies, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, diversify their markets, grow their supply chains and create jobs for South Carolinians,” said South Carolina Director for the U.S. Commercial Service Dorette Coetsee.

S.C. Commerce provides a variety of other export programs and services, including assisting both new and experienced exporters with on-site counseling, developing market entry strategies, administering export training, and connecting companies with appropriate partners and resources. For more information on S.C. Commerce's export assistance program, click here.