HONOLULU – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced an award of $511,000 to the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) enabling the continuation of the Hawaii State Trade Expansion Program (HiSTEP). This award will help provide small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export-related activities under DBEDT’s “Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha” theme. The HiSTEP program has three integrated components:
- Export Readiness: a series of training programs and business advising that prepare Hawaii companies to begin or expand their export market development;
- Hawaii Pavilions: DBEDT organizes groups of Hawaii companies in a Hawaii pavilion to participate in major trade shows to introduce potential buyers and distributors;
- Company Assistance: direct financial assistance for export market development costs, awarded through a competitive proposal process.
“This is a tremendous program that offers Hawaii companies with an entrée to grow their businesses globally by exporting their products and services to new markets,” said DBEDT Director Mike McCartney. “We are very grateful for the continued support of the U.S. SBA, which will allow us to continue the success of HiSTEP. Over the period of 2012 – 2018, we have supported over 600 Hawaii companies to increase total export sales by $87.7 million.”
The most recent success story is that 55 Hawaii companies recently exhibited at the Tokyo International Gift Show (TIGS) from September 3-6, 2019. This is the eighth year that DBEDT has organized a Hawaii Pavilion at the show, the largest gift show in Asia. Exhibitors are anticipated to realize over $5 million in actual and projected export sales as a result of their participation in TIGS.
“Hawaii’s iconic brand is becoming more established and recognized for quality and authenticity especially in the Japan market,” said Dennis Ling, DBEDT Administrator.
“Through support received from the SBA, DBEDT will continue to initiate programs and activities that Hawaii companies can participate in. We encourage companies to visit https://invest.hawaii.gov/exporting/histep/ for information about the 2020 HiSTEP program and to sign up for our email news at https://invest.hawaii.gov/signup/.”