State Receives $700,000 Grant from U.S. Small Business Administration to Increase Local Business Exports

Posted on Oct 7, 2016 in Exporting, HiSTEP, Manufacturing, News, SBA, Small Business

SBA LogoHONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) has received a $700,000 grant from the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) 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 Expansion 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.

“HiSTEP will provide specialized resources designed specifically to enable eligible small Hawaii businesses to grow their export sales and enter new international markets,” said DBEDT Director Luis Salaveria. “The primary goal of the program is to expand and elevate exports and thereby grow our small businesses.”

“SBA is partnering with the State of Hawaii to build the exporting capacity of more small businesses here in the state. Tapping into the growing consumers in global markets translates into increased revenues, jobs and new opportunities locally,” said Jane Sawyer, SBA District Director. “HiSTEP’s multi-faceted approach will offer expanded resources, referrals and results to help many companies at different stages of international trade — from thinking about entry to a new market, to research and contacts to completing transactions.”

HiSTEP and its public and private partners have planned the following activities:

  • Export readiness sessions to prepare new and existing exporters to participate in the HiSTEP Program activities.
  • Hawaii Pavilions at the following trade shows:
    • Tokyo International Gift Fair, September 6-8, 2017, Tokyo, Japan.
    • Natural Products Expo West, March 9-12, 2017, Anaheim, CA.
    • FOODEX Japan, March 7-10, 2017, Tokyo, Japan.
    • International Food and Ingredients Show, May 2017, Tokyo, Japan.
    • Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, August 2017, Salt Lake City, UT.
    • Hankyu Hawaii Fair, July 2017, Osaka, Japan.
    • Hawaii Expo with Hawaii Tourism Japan, July 2017, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Direct financial assistance awards to help implement individual company export development plans, awarded on a competitive basis.

Visit for more information.

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, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, High Technology Development Corporation, Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii and the county Economic Development Boards.


DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

Media Contacts 

Dennis Ling

Business Development and Support Division, DBEDT
Phone: (808)-587-3875


Julie Yunker

Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism 

Phone: (808)-587-3875

Mobile: (808)-436-4666