From Business OregonOregon has been awarded $300,000 in a third round of federal grant funding to help Oregon companies promote their products to customers around the world through the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program.
Since 2012, STEP-funded export promotion grants totaling $594,000 helped 170 Oregon companies achieve immediate sales of more than $21 million. These sales were a direct result of attending trade shows and other foreign activities with the grants. These grant recipients also reported estimated future sales of more than $80 million as a result of the connections made at the shows.
“Selling into these foreign markets brings new revenue into the hands of small businesses, and new dollars into Oregon’s economy,” said Business Oregon Director Sean Robbins. “That’s serious ROI, $594,000 in and $21 million back in return with another $80 million potentially down the road. Pairing our staff’s foreign market expertise with individual grants of $5,000, these companies have already realized an incredible return on the state and federal investment.”
The grants play a large part of Business Oregon’s global trade strategy, as do trade missions, such as one currently planned for Asia in October, where Business Oregon will join the Port of Portland and others to lead a group to China, Hong Kong and Japan. The mission will promote Oregon goods and services as well as in-bound investment.
Oregon’s trade with Pacific Rim remained paramount in 2013 with significant exports to Japan and South Korea as well as Canada. Oregon exports were valued at $18.6 billion in 2013, and trade with China grew 27% over 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division. The increased trade with China was highlighted by 122% growth in manufactured machinery exports and 36% growth in computer and electronic goods.
The third year of STEP funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration will become available on October 1. The funding supports the participation of Oregon small businesses in international trade shows and trade missions through individual export development grants of up to $5,000.
These new grant funds can be used for activities through September 2015. More information available here.