The Washington State Department of Commerce shared in a press release on Sept. 28 that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) awarded the department a ninth year of funding specifically to assist small Washington businesses to grow through exporting.

According to the release, the $1.35 million grant is the biggest award across 48 states, at a total of $19 million. The grant is part of SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).

Commerce will use grant monies to continue with several export assistance programs for small businesses, according to the release. These include support for industry-focused trade shows and missions, export vouchers, export training, and inbound buyer events.

“One in three jobs in Washington depends on international trade, and this funding is essential for us to continue helping small businesses grow through exporting and support a broad-based economic recovery in communities throughout the state,” said Lisa Brown, the director of the department, in the release. “The STEP program provides support to companies who might otherwise not have the resources to develop relationships and navigate the complexities of selling their goods and services overseas, especially in today’s challenging trade environment.”

According to the release, more than 900 small businesses statewide have in some way benefitted from STEP-funded assistance. The STEP program itself began a decade ago.

For more information, got to the Choose Washington website.