February 14, 2019
Monday, September 8, 2014
SBA awards Florida with $311,600, EFI matches $103,867
ORLANDO, Fla. – Today, Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), Gray Swoope, announced that the Small Business Association (SBA) awarded Florida with one of 24 grants made to states to support activities to increase exporting by small businesses. The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program was appropriated $8 million to award by September 30, 2014.
“The work our international trade and development team does to help small businesses expand and create jobs is very important to the state’s economy,” said Secretary Swoope. “Florida companies exported more than $60 billion to more than 200 countries around the world last year. Exporting is a great way for small businesses to grow and this award will help us be even more aggressive in promoting Florida’s small businesses to new markets around the world.”
Florida’s grant, which will begin in mid-to-late October, will focus on helping Florida manufacturers and eligible services providers expand in Asia with an emphasis on China. With a total award of $415,467, the grant will allow EFI to offer eligible Florida exporters the following:
“A fundamental aspect of EFI’s trade promotion strategy is helping Florida companies to find new markets and diversify their exports. The Asian markets present tremendous future opportunities for our companies and we see this grant program as an excellent tool to help more of our manufacturers and high tech companies to penetrate new markets in that region,” said Manny Mencia, Senior Vice President of International Trade and Development at EFI.
EFI maintains an extensive schedule of overseas trade missions and exhibitions worldwide that Florida companies can take advantage of. In fiscal year 2013-14, EFI hosted 17 major international trade shows and missions with 724 participants generating more than $820 million in total projected export sales by Florida companies.
“With today’s technological advances, small businesses are better equipped than ever to compete in a global marketplace. Exporting provides tremendous opportunities for America’s small businesses that are looking to expand and create jobs. The STEP program is another way that the U.S. Small Business Administration is partnering with states to give small businesses the tools and resources they need to take their business to the next level,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.
For a list of awardees and more information on the STEP program, visit http://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/oit/resources/14315.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.