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Empire State Development Announces Federal Grant Awarded To Global NY to Promote New York State Exports and Support Small Businesses

U.S. Small Business Administration Doubles New York’s Award In Round 4 Of STEP Program

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Global NY, the agency’s international initiative, has been awarded a $663,893 State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to support the growth of New York exports to foreign markets around the globe. When combined with state matching funds, the STEP Program will invest more than $885,000 in small businesses statewide through 2016.

“SBA’s investment in Global NY and New York State’s small businesses – which compose 98 percent of all businesses in the state – provides us with even more tools to diversify and strengthen the backbone of our economy,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “We are thankful to our federal partners at the SBA and remain committed to support the development and success of small businesses as we grow New York’s global footprint, together.”

The purpose of the STEP Program is to increase the number of new small business exporters, to increase the value of exports by small businesses, and to expand job creation and retention through export activity.

Approved funds through the STEP Program will assist New York small businesses in:
·         Participation in foreign trade missions and trade shows;
·         Foreign market sales trips;
·         Gold Key services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce;
·         Website and/or marketing material translation services; and
·         International trade workshops that align with the program objectives.

The U.S. SBA announced New York State is receiving the ninth largest award made to a total of 40 states and territories in STEP Round 4. This is the fourth year in a row the State has won this competitive award and the STEP Program Round 4 grant represents a 100 percent funding increase over the 2014 award. Empire State Development’s Global NY initiative will administer the grant funding to help small businesses increase their export sales in international markets.

STEP funding assists small businesses in a variety of ways, including participation in foreign market sales trips and partner search trips organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Small businesses can also receive assistance with foreign language translations of international marketing materials, participation in trade education workshops, and more.

“Exports are a central part of America’s economic growth; with export-supported jobs paying 15-18 percent more. Yet less than one percent of small businesses export; and of those that do, 58 percent of them export to only one country. Unlocking trade opportunities for small businesses is key to continued growth and expansion. SBA’s STEP program ensures local resources are available to help small businesses tap global markets. By funding states and their export development partners, the SBA is delivering the tools and resources required for small businesses to launch their services and products abroad. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, SBA’s STEP program ensures that America’s small businesses can succeed in the 21st century global economy,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

In Round 1 of the STEP program, 68 small businesses received support; 18 businesses received support in Round 2; and more than 100 businesses have received support in Round 3, which concludes on September 29, 2015.

Starting on September 30, 2015, funding for Round 4 will be awarded to small businesses on a first-come, first-serve basis until all program funds are committed. For events to be covered by the funding, they must be completed by September 29, 2016.

Additionally, special consideration will be given to companies that are certified MWBE firms and to businesses that are classified among New York State’s manufacturing strategic industries, which include, but are not limited to Aerospace; Agriculture; Beverages and Processed Foods; Biotech and Life Sciences; Cleantech and Renewable Energy; Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology, among others.

“This federal funding will help ensure that more of New York’s small businesses can realize their full potential in accessing new international markets for their goods and services,” said Senator Gillibrand, who is a member of the President’s Export Council. “Exporting provides immense opportunities for New York’s companies to expand their operations to meet the needs of the global marketplace which will spur economic growth and job creation across the state.”

“When Rochester businesses compete to sell their products on the world stage, there’s nobody on Earth that can do it better,” said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. “New York’s manufacturing economy is creating good paying jobs while spurring growth and development in our communities. I will continue fighting to make sure our small businesses have access to foreign markets and are well positioned to win the global economics race.”

For businesses interested in applying for STEP grant assistance, please contact Empire State Development’s Global NY Division via email ( or call (212) 803-2300. For more information about the Global NY initiative, please visit