|The U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded the Mississippi Development Authority funding for the Mississippi State Trade and Export Promotion Program. The STEP Program allows MDA to provide financial and technical assistance to small- and medium-sized Mississippi companies interested in growing their business through trade. Administered by MDA’s Trade Bureau, the program helps reduce some of the financial obstacles qualifying businesses face when identifying export opportunities.
“The STEP grant is an excellent resource available to qualifying Mississippi businesses looking to expand into global markets. While the national and international economies continue to improve, the STEP Program helps alleviate some of the financial and logistical stresses companies face when trying to explore new export opportunities,” said MDA International Trade Office Director Rose Boxx. “Nearly 60 companies have participated in the STEP Program in recent years, and we strongly encourage the state’s new-to-export companies and existing exporters looking to expand trade into new markets to join in taking advantage of this grant opportunity.”
Mississippi companies that have participated in the STEP Program include BankTEL Systems, BioSoil Enhancers, Flathau’s Fine Foods, Heartland Catfish, Hyperion Technologies, Mississippi Aerospace Corporation, Multicraft International, Navagis, Thomasson Company, Trilogy Communications, and more.
The Mississippi STEP Program helps offset certain costs related to participating in trade missions and other international business development activities. The program reimburses eligible businesses up to 50 percent of their travel costs, including airfare and lodging, and it provides translation services at no cost. Additional services may include pre-arranged appointments with prospective qualified buyers, local transportation assistance and a customized trip itinerary.
Mississippi companies interested in learning more about the STEP Program should contact MDA’s International Trade Office at (601) 359-3155 or visit www.mississippi.org/existing-business/international-trade.