GO-Biz and Community Colleges Announce $844,000 Federal Grant for Trade and Export Initiative

Oct 8, 2016 | Press Release

State Receives Federal Funding to Help California Small Businesses Boost Exports Globally

Sacramento, Calif. – The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) today announced that California received an $844,214 grant from the federal government to help small businesses boost trade and exports abroad. GO-Biz and the CCCCO will use the funds to help small businesses participate in activities like foreign trade missions and access foreign markets through trade promotion initiatives.

“The success of last year’s program demonstrates the effectiveness of the STEP grants in helping more small business become international exporters.  We look forward to further expanding this program to bring even more California business into the global economy.” said GO-Biz Director Panorea Avdis.

The grant is part of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) which awarded grants to 44 states and territories to support activities to increase exports by US small businesses. Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and member of President Obama’s Cabinet, announced the grant award this week in Washington D.C.

“Exporting provides tremendous opportunities for America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs.  Two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power can be found outside of the United States, but only about one percent of America’s 28 million small businesses are reaching customers beyond our borders,” said Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “Exporting is an important growth opportunity for our small businesses that are ready to expand their reach into new and increasingly borderless global markets.  These STEP awards, in addition to SBA’s export loans and U.S. Export Assistance Centers, help small businesses across our nation have the tools, resources and relationships they need to take their businesses global.”

STEP awards were created to advance key priorities identified in the President’s National Export Initiative, namely to expand the base of small businesses that become exporters and to make the exporting process as easy as possible for small businesses.

“Supporting global trade through our community colleges is important for jobs and the economy,” states Van Ton-Quinlivan, Vice Chancellor of Workforce & Economic Development of the California Community Colleges. “It is really important for companies to get a firsthand observation of the market, the competitors and customer responses to their products/services – go to market, participating in an international trade show, provides this valuable perspective.”

California has received STEP funding in previous years, and this is the second year GO-Biz and the CCCCO will jointly administer the program. GO-Biz and the CCCCO will work with other partners including the California Community Colleges Centers for International Trade Development (CITD) at the Riverside Community College District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, State Center Community College District, the  Los Rios Community College District, and San Mateo Community College District,  California Department of Food and Ag (CDFA), Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce,  and the CalAsian Chamber of Commerce in providing grants to qualifying small businesses and trade promotion programs.

GO-Biz and the CCCCO will use the funds to help small businesses participate in activities like foreign trade missions and access foreign markets through trade promotion initiatives, participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, subscription services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as design of international marketing campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training workshops, and more.

What They Are Saying

“Our wine and beverage export business to China is booming. We launched our China marketing effort through participation in a California STEP sponsored event in Hong Kong, and it all began from there. The assistance was instrumental in building key relationships. We are now shipping hundreds of thousands of cases each month to Asia!”
Mike O’Brien, CEO, WineExport.com (San Diego, CA)

“We participated in a California STEP event in Asia and collected good leads, secured sales orders and obtained media coverage. We were really pleased with the results”
Jeff Jankovic, CFO Initiative Foods (Sanger, CA)

“Not only were we able to meet our potential future partner in Spain and strengthen our relationship with our current Italian distributor, but we are also pleased to have met great leads for other countries such as Slovenia/Croatia, Finland, Czech Republic and interestingly enough, Colombia! Overall, Cosmoprof Bologna was a successful venture for our company.”
Chris Birchby, COOLA (Carlsbad, CA)

“The California STEP program was instrumental in supporting our company’s ability to grow international sales.  The export promotion funds enabled us to participate in the Gold Key Services offered by the U.S. Commercial Service in Russia, Thailand and Mexico.  As a result, we will soon be shipping our MD innovative hair, skin and wellness products to these markets and already signed a distribution partnership in Russia.  We have hired 2 additional staffing as result of business growth from our participation in the Gold Key and STEP program and look forward to creating more US jobs in upcoming year.
Susan F. Lin M.D., CEO, La Canada Ventures Inc. (San Mateo, CA)

About the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Centers for International Trade Development (CITD)

The California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD) are funded by the Chancellor’s Office of the State of California to promote the state’s international trade and competitiveness, assist exporters and importers, and advance economic and job growth. The CITDs assist California business to expand internationally as well as help colleges become more globalized.

About GO-Biz
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as the State of California’s leader for job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit, www.business.ca.gov.

Contact Information
1325 J Street, Suite 1800
Sacramento, CA 95818
Phone: 1-877-345-4633
Email Us

Explore more articles by category:  GO-Biz News  |  CalOSBA News  |  Press Releases |  Opinion Editorials