Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner. It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.
Earlier this year Washington State secured a significant grant from the Small Business Administration to help state small businesses grow through exporting. Washington’s Department of Commerce will use the funds to help businesses with export vouchers, trade show support, rural outreach and training, and export finance training
Of particular interest are the state’s export vouchers. These grants for up to $5000 can be used by eligible businesses to support international sales development. The following types of programs and expenses are eligible for reimbursement through an Export Voucher:
To be eligible for STEP companies must be in business for at least a year, be in good standing with the Department of Revenue, and demonstrate export readiness.
Over the last two years 230 Washington companies have used STEP vouchers to cover some of their international expenses. These companies secured over $123 million in new business as a result. Locally, Treveri Cellars and Cubcrafters have both benefited from STEP vouchers.
According to Julie Monahan at the Department of Commerce STEP vouchers will go quickly. She recommends that companies apply for these vouchers by the end of June. Julie added that the Department has other valuable resources for small companies looking to start exporting. Their experienced international trade staff is available to help small businesses develop export markets. There are also seminars and technical assistance available through a variety of agencies within the state.
Our office is holding an Export Workshop April 28th in Yakima where you can learn more about export vouchers and sources of help for businesses wanting to start exporting or expand their international market share. Click here for details and to register.
With 95 percent of the world’s customers living outside the United States it is a smart time to consider international sales. If you need more information about these programs or help with exporting please contact our office or check out the Export Washington Website.
More exporting resources: