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S.C. Commerce receives grant for export assistance programs

South Carolina awarded U.S. Small Business Administration funding

For the 11th consecutive year, the South Carolina Department of Commerce (S.C. Commerce) has been awarded a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The state received its full requested amount of $250,000 to support and encourage small business export success. 

“As South Carolina companies diversify and strengthen, they are primed to serve international markets,” said Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III. “These grants provide opportunities for businesses to maximize their potential; we appreciate the U.S. Small Business Administration awarding these funds which help to make such growth possible.”

Since its creation in 2010, the STEP program has awarded $235.5 million in grants nationwide, directly supporting over 13,000 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 45-50 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 export 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. Visit S.C. Commerce’s website for more information on the agency’s export assistance program.