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Shaheen Announces $250,000 through STEP Program to Help New Hampshire Small Businesses Expand Trade Opportunities

**Shaheen Created STEP in 2010 to Help Small Businesses Enter New Markets, Access Export Financing & Attend Trade Missions**

**A Member of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, Shaheen Has Led Efforts in the Senate to Secure Funding for STEP Grants **

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, announced that the Small Business Administration (SBA) awarded the Department of International Commerce at the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, $250,000 through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), which helps New Hampshire businesses increase exports and better reach foreign markets. 

“STEP is a critical tool to help New Hampshire businesses grow their workforce and expand their reach into the international marketplace – and that’s precisely why I fought hard to establish this program and have worked to secure its funding,” said Shaheen. “This federal support is an important investment in Granite State entrepreneurs, helping them compete in a global economy. Small businesses in New Hampshire and throughout the nation face too many obstacles as it is, particularly with the escalating trade war, so I’m very pleased that federal assistance is on the way to help owners break down barriers and succeed. I’ll continue to reach across the aisle to ensure funding for STEP remains a congressional priority.” 

New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs Commissioner Taylor Caswell added, “For more than five years, State Trade Expansion Program grants have made a real difference for New Hampshire businesses and the global market. Through this program, scores of companies and manufacturers have participated in export training programs, participated in international trade shows and raised the profile of New Hampshire around the world.” 

Senator Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was instrumental in securing the funds for this STEP grant, leading a group of 22 Senators who advocated for increased funding for the STEP program in fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget negotiations. Shaheen helped create the STEP pilot program in 2010 to help small businesses enter new markets, access export financing and attend trade missions. The program was fully authorized by Senator Shaheen’s small business trade amendment, which was signed into law in 2016. Senator Shaheen has prioritized efforts in Congress to help small businesses boost their exports. Shaheen was also the first New Hampshire Governor to lead trade missions outside of North America.