The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is receiving a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to support export opportunities. The IEDC says the funding will directly support the Indiana State Trade and Export Promotion program, which helps small businesses market and sell their goods in international markets.
The program, called IN-STEP, intends to help companies grow and spurs job creation by expanding and diversifying customer bases. IN-STEP offers cost reimbursements for expenses related to export activities, including participating in international trade missions, trade shows, export educational programs, and export services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is robust and growing, ranking among the world’s top emerging markets,” said Ann Lathrop, executive vice president of global investment at the IEDC. “As a state, we pride ourselves on supporting and cultivating the entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow, and the IN-STEP program is yet another tool available to help these leaders and their businesses grow and succeed.”
In order to qualify for the program, the IEDC says businesses must be in operation for at least one year, must be new to exporting or market expansion, and must be in accordance with SBA size standards, which categorizes small businesses based on measures like industry, number of employees and annual receipts. Lastly, businesses must be a client of the Indiana Small Business Development Center and goods must be made in the U.S. or composed of at least 51% U.S. material.
Funding will be available through September 2024, or until all funds have been disbursed.
The IEDC says the program, which was first launched in 2020, has helped more than 45 small businesses engage with international markets, reporting export sales of $11.7 million.
You can connect to more information about IN-STEP and apply for export assistance by clicking here.