The Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) has received a $703,505 grant from the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to increase the number of local small businesses that want to export as well as the value of exports for those small businesses that currently export.
Hawaii’s State Trade and Export Promotion Program, known as HiSTEP, is built on a multifaceted approach that begins with comprehensive export assistance, readiness, counseling and training that leads into a menu of targeted activities designed to generate new export sales for participating small businesses from key industry sectors. The total budget for HiSTEP is $1,012.333. The state and its partners will provide the additional $308,828 in cash and in-kind services.
Companies desiring to participate in any of the STEP activities must:
- Meet the federal requirements of an ‘eligible small business concern’ (meet size standards, one year in business, profitable, understand costs associated w/exporting, have export plan)
- Certify that the company is not barred from receiving federal funds
- Be registered in good standing with the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Business Registration Division
- Have a current general excise tax license with the State Department of Taxation
HiSTEP and its partners have planned the following activities:
- Export readiness sessions to prepare new and existing exporters to participate in the HiSTEP Program activities. Forums and workshops will be conducted by the U.S. Export Assistance Center and the Hawaii Pacific Export Council.
- Development of a Hawaii Pavilion at the 2013 JFW-International Fashion Fair.
- Export mission to Korea in partnership with the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii and the county economic development boards.
- Development of a Hawaii Pavilion at the 2013 Tokyo International Gift Fair.
DBEDT’s partners in the HiSTEP program include the U.S. Export Assistance Center, Hawaii Pacific Export Council, Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Centers, Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii and the county Economic Development Boards.