The New Jersey Office of Export Promotion announced Sept. 19 that it has been awarded $900,000 in federal funds, for a program that supports small-business owners looking to export goods.

New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way announced that the award is the largest in the program's history, from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). New Jersey's STEP (NJSTEP) program has been awarded funding for seven consecutive years.

The program has assisted hundreds of businesses, leading to millions of dollars in export sales worldwide.

"New Jersey's diverse small business community is the foundation of the Garden State's economy,” stated Way. "The SBA award will help those small businesses reach markets around the world, and in turn contribute to their growth in communities across the state."

"The SBA award, the largest the state has ever received, will help New Jersey's small businesses take part in trade shows and other events that may have been cost-prohibitive," stated New Jersey Business Action Center Executive Director Melanie Willoughby.

Consistent with previous years, 100% of the NJ STEP program funds will be awarded to eligible small businesses, helping offset costs related to participation in foreign trade missions, international trade shows and exhibitions, website and collateral translations, and services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce's commercial service. Grants are awarded to eligible companies on a first-come, first-serve competitive basis over a two-year period, from Sept. 30, 2019 to Sept. 29, 2021.