LANSING – Following Gov. Rick Snyder’s second trade mission to Asia, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced a second year of financial assistance to Michigan small and medium businesses for export-related activities through the Pure Michigan export incentive program.
“My recent trip to China reaffirmed that foreign countries offer new markets, distributorships and other business partnerships to Michigan companies. The Pure Michigan export incentive program helps Michigan companies tap into those markets and diversify their customer bases,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “In today’s globally interconnected world, export sales offer extraordinary opportunities for Michigan companies to grow and create new jobs.”
The $2.1 million in funding is from a second year of allocations to the State of Michigan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program. State project award amounts varied based on the proposed project plan and budget.
“Through the first year of the STEP program we were able to assist many Michigan businesses with increasing their sales in foreign markets – sales that help diversify companies’ customer bases, provide longer term stability and can support higher paying jobs,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “This year’s STEP award, a $600,000 increase over last year, is the second largest award in the nation, reflecting the SBA’s strong confidence in Michigan’s successful execution of export promotion to increase international sales.”
The SBA STEP grant program provides direct reimbursements to qualified companies with 500 or fewer employees globally for export-related activities, ranging from foreign market research to international trade missions.
The program’s goal is to increase Michigan’s export sales, increase the number of new-to-export companies and introduce current exporters to new foreign markets and buyers. MEDC coordinates a statewide export assistance delivery system with public and private resources to ensure company access regardless of geographic location.
For complete details on eligibility requirements and the application process, visit www.michiganadvantage.org/STEP/. For more on MEDC and its initiatives, visit MichiganAdvantage.org.