STEP grants help Missouri businesses grow their exports


Missouri is one of the largest recipients of the STEP grants awarded to the states by the Federal Small Business Administration.

The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program is a pilot export initiative to make matching-fund awards to states to increase the number of U.S. small businesses that export and to increase the value of exports by small businesses.

In 2015, Missouri was awarded a total of $798,666 to help small businesses export and succeed internationally. The total award was 2nd highest amongst states surrounding Missouri, 5th highest in the Midwest, and 12th highest nationally.

Missouri’s excellence in helping small and large businesses grow internationally has contributed to growth in the Show-Me State’s exports, totaling $6.77 billion in the 2nd quarter of 2015, a 3% increase from last year. The Chemicals Sector topped exports at just over $1.35 billion, led by Basic Chemicals with $576 million in exports, an increase of 3.1% from 2014. The second largest sector was Transportation Equipment with exports of $1.32 billion and a 13.6% increase compared to last year.

The largest foreign market for Missouri’s exports continues to be Canada, which purchased almost $2.1 billion in goods during the second quarter of 2015. Mexico ($1.2 billion) was next followed by China ($420 million), Belgium ($265 million), Japan ($263 million), and South Korea ($244 million).