Shaheen leads bill to reauthorize small business export program

December 9, 2022

** Shaheen helped create the National Trade Expansion Program in 2010 as a pilot program to help small businesses enter new markets, obtain export financing and participate in trade Task. **

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senior Member, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) for four years. Shaheen led the US Senate’s support for STEP and helped create it as a pilot program in 2010.

“Since I worked on creating STEP as a pilot program in 2010, small businesses have used their resources to develop the export and e-commerce capabilities necessary to compete in international markets. STEP is especially important to small businesses in the Granite State, and I have the opportunity To visit many of these small businesses and see these important dollars make a difference,” Shaheen says“99% of businesses in New Hampshire are small, and it is critical that Congress explore avenues to help them grow and succeed. STEP helps create these opportunities, which is why my bill to reauthorize and strengthen the program is necessary , and it’s clear. We’re seeing the success of this program through the work of the small businesses involved every day — and I urge lawmakers in Congress to support my efforts to ensure this continues.”

In addition to reauthorizing the program for FY 2023 through FY 2026, the bill would improve the program by creating a standardized application process, increasing spending flexibility for grant recipients, improving communication between SBA and states, and collecting performance implementation indicators and report to Congress. Under the legislation, businesses that have been in business for less than a year will now be allowed to participate in the scheme.

Senator Shaheen helped create the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) in 2010 as a pilot program to help small businesses enter new markets, obtain export financing and participate in trade missions. The program is fully authorized by Senator Shaheen’s Small Business Trade Amendment, which was signed into law in 2016.

Senator Shaheen has long supported trade agreements and programs that increase opportunity and growth for New Hampshire businesses. Shaheen was the first New Hampshire governor to lead a trade mission outside of North America and has prioritized efforts in Congress to help small businesses boost exports. Senator Shaheen also strongly opposed the Trump administration’s imposition of Section 232 tariffs on allies in Canada and Europe, and was instrumental in securing the exclusion process for companies applying to be exempt from Section 301 tariffs. In August, Shaheen participated in a roundtable discussion with USTR Katherine Tai and the Granite State District Export Council to hear from New Hampshire businesses involved in the export market on how trade agreements and programs can help their businesses succeed.



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