SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota Trade, in its first year of operation, has secured a second grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to promote South Dakota products worldwide. This $200,000 award comes on the heels of a $175,000 award South Dakota Trade received in April of this year.
“We are creating demand for South Dakota’s products all over the world.” said Luke J. Lindberg, President & CEO of South Dakota Trade. “These grants go directly to our small businesses to help them expand overseas sales, and to level the playing field against foreign competitors who are often heavily subsidized.”
“Our company is growing in Africa and other regions outside of the United States.” said John Willard, CEO of CAW Industries in Rapid City, SD. “The STEP grant recently gave us an opportunity to meet face-to-face with customers in Zambia who are now buying our products.”
The STEP grant is a flexible SBA program that offers financial support to small businesses and is administered in the state by South Dakota Trade. Nationally, every $1 spent in STEP funds last year yielded $43 in export sales. The grant can be used to:
- Attend one of South Dakota Trade’s ‘learn to export’ educational seminars;
- Participate in foreign trade missions;
- Design international marketing products and campaigns;
- Enhance website ‘globalization’ and e-commerce capabilities;
- Pay for subscriptions to international services provided by federal agencies; and
- Participate in export trade show exhibits and training workshops.
“Congratulations to Luke and the team on this award”, said Jeff Griffin, President & CEO of the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and South Dakota Trade board member. “The STEP grant is an important resource for our companies and this is a great example of how our investment in South Dakota Trade is crowding in additional capital from the federal government.”
Interested businesses should contact Kathleen Ireland, the STEP Grant Program Director with South Dakota Trade, at Kathleen.Ireland@southdakotatrade.com to see if they qualify. Each organization is eligible to receive up to $5,000 per grant and a maximum of two grants per funding cycle.
South Dakota Trade is a 501(c)(6) association that navigates international trade for South Dakota. The Association has offices in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. For additional information, please visit www.southdakotatrade.com.