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SBA awards nearly $350K to S.C. to support export participation

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Staff Report
colanews@scbiznews.com
Published Aug. 25, 2015

The Small Business Administration has awarded South Carolina a nearly $350,000 grant to support activities that increase exporting by small businesses.

More than 40 awards from the agency’s State Trade and Export Promotion program were made in all, as $17.4 million in funding will help these companies enter and compete in the global marketplace.

“We were excited to be involved in this program upon its inception five years ago, and we look forward to doing so again,” S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said. “As South Carolina continues to elevate itself in the global marketplace, it is important that businesses of all sizes that wish to expand their markets have the resources to do so.”

The awards are designed for states to assist small businesses with export-related activities or initiatives in line with program objectives, including participation in foreign-trade missions, foreign-market sales trips and subscription services provided by the U.S. Commerce Department. They also will assist in the design of international marketing campaigns, export trade show exhibits and training workshops.

“Unlocking trade opportunities for small businesses is key to continued growth and expansion,” administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said. “SBA’s STEP program ensures local resources are available to help small businesses tap global markets.”

Recipients of the first two rounds of State Trade and Export Promotion awards in fiscal 2011 and 2012 reported a strong return on investment of over 19-1, according to a release.

“Export cargo is an essential driver of the S.C. Ports Authority’s above-market growth, and we serve S.C. manufacturers and exporters of all sizes,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the S.C. State Ports Authority. “Our modern facilities and deepwater harbor, both now and in the future, are assets that will continue to support the logistics needs of our state’s growing exporters.”

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