Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus today announced $250,000 to help Montana small businesses promote Montana products around the world. The grant is made possible by the State Trade and Export Promotion, or STEP, initiative Baucus created in his 2010 Small Business Jobs Bill.
"Small businesses are the driving force behind job creation in Montana and across the country. That's why I fought so hard for a Small Business Jobs Bill that was tailor made for them - with investments like this one to give small businesses the extra boost they need to break into new markets around the world and create more jobs here are home," Baucus said. "When we give Montana businesses the tools they need to succeed our whole economy is better off. I can't wait to see the creative ways Montana businesses turn these investments into opportunities around the world and jobs here at home."
The Montana Department of Commerce will use the STEP investment to support Montana businesses attending international trade shows around the world. Up to 20 Montana businesses will be reimbursed for their expenses through the Montana Department of Commerce - 75 percent reimbursement, up to $8,000, for trade shows in China; 50 percent reimbursement, up to $8,000, for trade shows in other countries. Up to $1,200 in additional funding is also available as a travel stipend.
The remaining STEP investment will be used to help Montana businesses promote trade through a variety of other activates. For example, some Montana businesses plan to use STEP funding to participate in the Trade Mission to Canada Baucus announced last Spring. Around 15 Montanans will join the mission taking place October 15-17.
The Montana Department of Commerce will reach out to prospective businesses over the next six months and hold a series of training events across the state and on the web. Interested businesses should contact the Montana Department of Commerce and are encouraged to explore all trade assistance programs on the Department's website: http://www.exportmontana.com/default.mcpx.