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Missouri awarded almost $600,000 for small business funding

MGN Online: Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY -

Gov. Jay Nixon announced on Wednesday that Missouri has been awarded $599,000 in competitive funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

This money will hopefully increase the number of Missouri small businesses that export their products, creating jobs and generating additional economic growth as a result.

With the state's export sales reaching their highest levels ever in 2012 and 2014, the federal grant will focus on helping Missouri businesses reach new customers in Central America and South America, the Governor said.

The funding is part of the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant Program, established as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 to award grants to states to carry out export programs that assist eligible small businesses.

The program will be administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development's International unit and complement the state's best-in-class trade initiative, Export Missouri.

Gov. Nixon said the STEP grant will be used to focus on export and trade promotion activities in key global regions, including Central America and South America.

Under this program, Missouri businesses can receive funding to boost their exports, including participation in foreign trade missions and market sales trips, subscription to services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, website foreign language translation services, design of international marketing materials, trade show exhibitions, and participation in export and trade financing workshops.

The funding will help incentivize Missouri exporters to focus their exporting targets on the countries of Colombia, Panama and Peru.

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