The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that $344,500 has been awarded to Maine International Trade Center to support export growth among the state’s small businesses.
The money comes through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program.
“Small businesses must continually seek new markets and new customers in order to grow and thrive,” Amy Bassett, SBA’s district director for Maine, said in a news release. “Maine small businesses like Blue Barn recognize that diversifying sales through exporting provides significant opportunity to expand and the STEP grant can help make that happen.”
In the past year, Blue Barn LLC, Scarborough-based maker of the Bluet brand of blueberry wines, was among Maine companies that used STEP funds to expand internationally, showcasing its wines at the 2019 Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. RainWise Inc., a Trenton maker of weather forecasting equipment, used STEP funds to attend a trade show in Switzerland. Others revamped marketing campaigns and visited customers in foreign markets.
This is the seventh straight year MITC has received a STEP grant. In 2018, the center was awarded $345,000 in STEP funding, up from $195,000 in 2017.