Press Releases

Larsen Votes to Reauthorize Program to Help Washington’s Small Businesses Export Products Overseas, Create Jobs

Washington, D.C., September 14, 2020
Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted to reauthorize the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), a successful program administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and states that helps small businesses in Washington state and across the country export their products overseas. The bipartisan STEP Improvement Act of 2020 passed the House of Representatives by voice vote.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted to reauthorize the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), a successful program administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and states that helps small businesses in Washington state and across the country export their products overseas. The bipartisan STEP Improvement Act of 2020 passed the House of Representatives by voice vote.

“Making it easier for local businesses to sell their goods and services abroad is key to helping create jobs and boost economic recovery here at home,” said Larsen, a co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition Trade Task Force. “STEP grants help Northwest Washington small businesses compete in the global marketplace.”

The STEP Improvement Act of 2020 would extend the program for four more years at $30 million annually, enhance communication between the SBA and states and increase program flexibility. According to the Washington State Department of Commerce, STEP has helped more than 830 small businesses in Washington state, including Wooden Stone Ovens in Bellingham, generate more than $700 million in sales since 2010, creating an estimated return on investment of nearly $100 for every $1 awarded.

Washington state is the most trade dependent state in the United States. Larsen championed the creation of STEP as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and has fought to increase funding for the successful program since its inception.

For more information on the SBA’s STEP program, click here.

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