Small Business Administration grant will help local businesses expand globally

BALTIMORE, MD (October 27, 2021) – As part of a continuing effort to broaden Maryland’s international reach and help companies create jobs and access new foreign markets, the Maryland Department of Commerce has been awarded a $395,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant will be used to support Maryland Commerce’s international efforts, including participation in virtual conferences as well as attending overseas trade shows in targeted industry sectors, and help fund the state’s ExportMD program, which provides matching grants of up to $5,000 to help Maryland companies market their goods and services to global customers.

This is the ninth year that Maryland Commerce has received funding from the federal State Trade Expansion Program, totaling nearly $4.9 million from the program overall. With SBA’s assistance in the past five years alone, the state has awarded 283 companies with ExportMD grants, leveraging nearly $79 million in new export sales. The department awarded 36 of those grants to local businesses over the summer. The next application deadline for the ExportMD program is November 1, 2021 and eligibility requirements can be found on the Commerce website.

“This federal grant plays a major role in helping our state’s businesses explore the international market, obtain new customers, and form new relationships across the globe,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “Thank you to the U.S. Small Business Administration for once again reinvesting in this program as well as our business community in Maryland.”

Maryland’s Office of International Investment and Trade works to stimulate foreign direct investment in the State, offers export assistance, and coordinates international trade and investment missions and trade show opportunities for Maryland companies. The state has 18 foreign trade offices, including Africa (Durban), ASEAN countries (Singapore), Australia (Sydney), Brazil (Sao Paulo), Canada (Montreal), Chile (Santiago), Mainland China (Shanghai), Colombia (Bogota), India (Delhi), Israel (Tel Aviv), Japan (Tokyo), Mexico (Mexico City), Peru (Lima), Taiwan (Taipei), United Arab Emirates (Dubai), and the United Kingdom (Manchester). The trade offices also include Germany (Heidelberg) and France (Paris), which assist numerous countries throughout Northern and Southern Europe.

About Maryland Commerce

The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit

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