Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has awarded New York an $898,646 State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant to enhance state exports to foreign markets. The grant will promote New York State's unique talent and technology, focusing on creative and innovative sectors. Combined with state matching funds, the total initiative will be $1.38 million.
"This grant provides New York with another strong tool to help small businesses expand their operations and compete more effectively in international markets," Governor Cuomo said. "If we want New York to keep winning big deals like the recent $4.4 billion investment by a group of international technology companies, then we need to keep seeking out creative and innovative opportunities to grow our economy."
The aim of the STEP initiative is to increase the number of new small business exporters, to increase the value of exports by existing small business exporters, and to expand US job creation and retention through export activity. New York's application will be bolstered by public/private partnerships and work in cooperation with Regional Economic Development Councils to build an updated awareness of the NYS brand.
Kenneth Adams, President, CEO and Commissioner of Empire State Development, said, "This initiative will diversify and increase our small business exports to growing, challenging and increasingly competitive Chinese and Korean markets. The global market offers numerous opportunities for our small business owners. I am pleased that we have received this grant to help support the companies and the jobs they create in our local economies."
To expand the number of small business exporters and increase state export value, "Go East to Export New York, US" (GEENYUS) aims to recruit over 300 small, rural, minority- and women-owned businesses to start or expand exporting, increase small and medium enterprise exports to China and Korea by $250 million and create or retain 2,500 export-related jobs in New York State.
Industry targets for the GEENYUS initiative, selected based on New York State competitive assets, industry commitment and significant market opportunities in China and Market, include: wine and foods, music, fashion design, medical-bio technologies, jewelry, cleantech, mining equipment and technologies, and consulting engineering. These industries reflect the regional priorities of many New York State industry and business organizations.
Jorge Silva-Puras, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, said, "At SBA our goal is to increase both the number of small businesses that export and the number of countries they export to. The State Trade and Export Promotion Grants is one of the most exciting tools to support exporting that the Small Business Jobs Act provided."
Diana Lopez, ESD Executive Vice President for Business Services, said, "Trade event activities will include both 'horizontal' or multi-industry trade promotion events, and 'vertical' or industry-specific efforts. Project activities will build upon public/private sector partnerships and an integrated federal-state government team approach, including Small Business Administration colleagues, the Small Business Development Centers, the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Centers and Commercial Service posts overseas and the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets."
Ed Kowalewski, GEENYUS Project Director, who also serves as Empire State Development's International Trade Programs Director, said, "Many regional, global and industry association partners provided ESD with assistance and insight through the application process, including CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, Global Cleantech Cluster Association, Tech Garden, the Center for Economic Growth, the Solar Energy Consortium, the New York Biotechnology Association, MedTech, the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York, the Diamond District, Fashion 2020 and NYC EDC, ENK Trade Shows, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and Ruig Wine Exports LLC and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Jiangsu Province Department of Commerce. We look forward to the implementation of this initiative to intensify export assistance to New York State's small businesses."
The STEP program, created by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, authorizes the Small Business Administration to conduct a competitive $30 million state grant program every year, for the next three years. States' applications were submitted in May 2011 and successful applications will have one year to spend their award, beginning no later than September 2011. The goals of the program build on the President's National Export Initiative, which is working to double U.S. exports and give America a stronger competitive edge in the global market.