On The Move
S.C. Department of Commerce awarded grant to further exports for second year
Oct 22, 2012
SBA grant helped generate more than $1.6 million in export sales for small businesses
COLUMBIA, SC - October 22, 2012 - The South Carolina Department of Commerce has been awarded a State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for the second year in a row. This year’s grant is for $279,128. The grant is designed help South Carolina small businesses seize export opportunities.
Last year, Commerce received a $202,669 grant from the SBA to help increase exporting by small businesses. In South Carolina, 35 companies benefited from the funds and were able to realize more than $1.6 million in confirmed export sales.
“We were excited to be involved in this program last year, and we look forward to doing so again. The export assistance grants have helped small businesses from across the state reach new markets around the globe. When our small businesses prosper, it has impact throughout South Carolina’s economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.
The companies involved with the program were able to reach new markets on four continents. The markets some of the companies focused on include China, Singapore, S. Korea, Japan, Colombia, Mexico, Canada and Kenya.
One of the S.C. businesses receiving grant funds was Bridge to Life, a company supplying medical devices used to save lives through organ transplantation.
“We at Bridge to Life are very thankful to be one of the first companies to put the STEP program to use for our international business efforts. We not only received assistance in marketing our company abroad, but also benefitted from funding for translation and other ‘in-country’ support made available to us,” said Bridge to Life’s Global Sales Director Aaron Gilchrist. “For us, the STEP program worked more like a slingshot.”
Like last year, the grant is one of many going out from the SBA, which is providing $30 million in grants to states, territories and the District of Columbia, to help increase exporting by small businesses during the next 12 months. The grants were authorized by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, under STEP.
For small businesses interested in more information about the grant, please contact Anita Patel, international trade specialist for the S.C. Department of Commerce at 803-737-0247 or by e-mail at apatel@SCcommerce.com.
About S.C. Department of Commerce
As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing businesses grow. Commerce won the Gold Shovel Award and the Project of Year Award from Area Development magazine in 2012. Commerce has been part of recruiting world-class companies to South Carolina such as Boeing, Bridgestone, Continental, Monster.com, Heinz, ZF Group, BMW and Google Inc. Commerce also supports small and existing business, rural development initiatives and offers grants for community development. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.