SBA Names John H. Chafee Center for International Business as 2023 State Trade Expansion Program Awardee

The U.S. Small Business Administration just announced that $20 million in grant funding has been awarded to state international trade agencies throughout the country via a competitive application process to SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program grant program.

Locally, the John H. Chafee Center for International Business earned $150,000 of that pool to help provide small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export-related activities. Exporting activities include: participating in foreign trade missions, market sales trips, designing international marketing campaigns, participating in export trade show exhibits, and attending training workshops, as well as other important means of engagement.

“With nearly 95 percent of the world’s consumers and two-thirds of all purchasing power located outside of the United States, it is critical that we give small businesses the tools and support they need to access this market,” said SBA Region 2 and acting Region 1, Regional Administrator Marlene Cintron. “Thanks to this federal funding, the Chafee Center is able to support new and existing small business exporters, increase sales and expand markets through SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program.”

“The Chafee Center has an outstanding track record with utilizing STEP funding to help small businesses in Rhode Island expand their reach internationally,” said SBA District Director Mark S. Hayward. “This round of funding from STEP will allow the Center to expand its reach to even more local businesses and help them grow our state and national economies.”

This year marks the 70th year the Small Business Administration has supported American corporations. On this occasion, we celebrate the aid the SBA has provided including 11 years of STEP funding, which has awarded over $235 million. Since 95% of the world’s consumers and two-thirds of all purchasing power are located outside the United States, this grant program plays a critical role in providing access to capital, access to markets, and access to buyers.

If you would like to learn more about the program, or contact your local state entity to apply for funding, additional details are posted on




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