Congressman Derek Kilmer

Representing the 6th District of Washington
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Kilmer Announces New Investments to Help Puget Sound Area Small Businesses Increase Exports, Grow Jobs

Aug 24, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06) announced that Washington state has won investments from a program that helps small businesses sell their products in new markets. The Washington State Department of Commerce will receive $747,300 through the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program for Puget Sound area businesses and others across the state.

The STEP program was created through the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Originally designed as a three-year pilot program, STEP was reauthorized at the end of last year. It aids small businesses by helping them expand exports of their products. Over the initial three years of STEP Washington state received more than $3 million in grants, helping about 450 small businesses and contributing to $169.9 million in export sales. 

“This is great news for the Puget Sound region,” said Representative Kilmer. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create goods made in Washington that are in demand all over the world. The STEP program helps them tap into markets they haven’t reached before and in the process supports their growth and creates jobs here at home.” 

“We are excited that Washington state won these investments,” said Calvin Goings, Small Business Administration Region 10 Administrator. “The state is home to many dynamic small businesses that are ready to expand and bring their products to new markets and funding from the STEP program will help them make that happen. I’d like to thank Rep. Kilmer for his leadership in boosting small businesses and his support for STEP.” 

STEP has helped Tacoma businesses like General Plastics and Cablecraft Motion Controls sell more parts for aircraft and cable products overseas. The grants are used to support foreign trade missions, trade exhibitions, training or foreign marketing-related issues like website translation.