The federal money can be used in a number of ways, such as to pay for foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, and international marketing campaigns.
SBA Nebraska District Director Leon Milobar says the program has proven its worth.
“The first year that we did this, we had a 20-to-1 return on our money,” Milobar tells Nebraska Radio Network. “For every dollar that we invested, we saw more than $20 being returned in terms of contracts and sales. So, that sounds pretty good to me.”
The federal money flows to the state programs already in existence that work with small businesses to sell overseas. It can be used as a match. Milobar says an example would be giving $2,500 to help with a $10,000 campaign.
“Basically, what we have is a cooperative effort to help you do business internationally,” according to Milobar.
The award for Nebraska is part of a $17.4 million programs providing aid to states across the country to help small businesses enter and compete in the global marketplace. Its formal name is the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program. Nebraska will received $300,570.
The SBA reports export-supported jobs pay 15-18% more than jobs that rely on goods sold only domestically. Less than one percent of all small businesses export. Of those that do, according to the SBA, 58% export to only one country.
Interested businesses can apply with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]