The N.C. Department of Commerce's International Trade Division is making great strides with the U.S. Small Business Administration's State Trade and Export Promotion grant program. The North Carolina STEP program, administered by the Division, is designed to increase exports and create jobs by helping small businesses promote their products and services in new international markets. The STEP grant program is part of the National Export Initiative to double U.S. exports by 2015.
As part of the STEP grant program, there is a directive to aid small businesses that are owned by women, veterans and minorities. The grant's primary offerings to small businesses are trade show assistance, export education and reimbursement for the translation of marketing materials into a foreign language.