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Shaheen Applauds SBA Announcement of Federal Grant to New Hampshire to Help Grow Small Businesses

**This announcement marks the largest award the state has received under this program.**

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, released the following statement after the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the distribution of $20 million in grants to 49 state and territory international trade agencies across the country as part of the agency's State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). New Hampshire's Office of International Commerce has been awarded $444,366–the largest award the state has received under this program.

“Since helping to create STEP over ten years ago, I’ve seen how the program has worked to support American small businesses by providing them with increased access to compete internationally and grow their businesses,” said Senator Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “This critical funding from the Small Business Administration will ensure this upward momentum continues to benefit our entrepreneurs and American workers.”

STEP consistently funds New Hampshire exporters and helps the state’s small businesses enter new markets, access export financing and attend trade missions. Drew Matter, Vice President of Mikros Technologies, commended the STEP program for its role in bolstering their exports.

“The STEP grant has been critical to our growth as a technology business in New Hampshire. We have used grant awards to exhibit at international conferences and hone our export readiness, initiatives that have positively impacted our market position and business outlook. The STEP Grant team has been a true partner, helping to guide us in the funding process and to make valuable business connections along the way. Mikros Technologies is a stronger company because of the STEP Grant program and we would highly recommend its use to business leaders across the state.”

Senator Shaheen helped create STEP as a pilot program in 2010. The program was fully authorized by Senator Shaheen’s small business trade amendment, which was signed into law in 2016. Since its creation, the STEP program has awarded $235.5 million in grants and directly supported over 13,000 small businesses' international expansion and export growth. As states improve their exporting skills, the return on investment keeps improving. In 2022, every $1 in STEP funding yielded $43 in U.S. export sales. Shaheen is currently leading legislation to reauthorize the program through Fiscal Year 2028