On the heels of a media trip in which New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that Indian companies will expand their operations and add more than 1,200 jobs in the state, the N.J. Office of Export Promotion also announced that it has been awarded $900,000 in federal funds for a program that supports small-business owners.
Where foreign direct investment (FDI) continues to funnel in, state officials are also ensuring that products are flowing out, from the state’s own ingenuity. In a busy week for state commerce, New Jersey’s Secretary of State, Tahesha Way, noted that the award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will help owners reach markets around the world and in turn contribute to their overall growth.
“New Jersey’s diverse small business community is the foundation of the Garden State’s economy,” she added. Way also announced that the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) funds awarded to New Jersey from the SBA were the largest in the program’s seven-year history.
The grants have previously assisted hundreds of businesses, amounting to millions of dollars in export sales around the world.
Today, trade represents nearly 58 percent of the world’s $80 trillion economy, and 95 percent of the world’s consumers are located outside the United States. Exporting is an important way for U.S. small businesses to grow revenue and boost local economies. STEP is designed to assist states by increasing the number of small businesses that export and the value of those exports, the New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC) said in a release. (NJBAC administers the state’s STEP grant program.)
“The SBA award, the largest the state has ever received, will help New Jersey’s small businesses take part in trade shows and other events that may have been cost prohibitive,” said New Jersey Business Action Center Executive Director Melanie Willoughby.
Consistent with previous years, 100 percent of the NJ STEP program funds will be awarded to eligible small businesses to help offset costs related to participation in foreign trade missions, international trade shows and exhibitions, website and collateral translations and services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service.
Grants are awarded to eligible companies on a first come, first served competitive basis over a two-year period beginning Sept. 30, 2019 and ending Sept. 29, 2021.
The NJ STEP is administered by the NJBAC Office of Export Promotion, housed within the New Jersey Department of State. Business owners can apply for the grant at https://www.nj.gov/state/bac/bac-njstep.shtml.
You can find more information about the NJBAC here: https://www.state.nj.us/state/bac/bac-about.shtml.