SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced that the John H. Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University has received a $305,894 grant under the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). The grant marks the ninth time the University has applied for and received funding from the STEP program as the sole Rhode Island recipient of the support.
STEP is a national export initiative that makes matching‐fund awards to states to assist small businesses expanding into global markets. Administered by the SBA Office of International Trade, the STEP grant objectives are to increase the number of small businesses that export, help companies expand into new markets, and increase the value of U.S. exports.
“We are proud to be a part of this program that helps Rhode Island businesses and the state’s economy push forward amid these formidable headwinds.”
“We value the SBA’s continued support and partnership now more than ever, as businesses navigate the unprecedented challenges of the global pandemic,” says Bryant University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Glenn Sulmasy, JD, LL.M. “We are proud to be a part of this program that helps Rhode Island businesses and the state’s economy push forward amid these formidable headwinds.”
According to the SBA, the grant was matched by a state grant of $101,965 from the Rhode Island Commerce Corp., with programming under the grant and match to take place during federal fiscal year 2021. The Chafee Center is one of 48 state international trade agencies to be awarded the STEP grant this year.
The funds, to be used in partnership with R.I. Commerce, will support SBA-eligible businesses, with the goal of increasing the number of small businesses that export, aid companies in expanding into new markets and increase the value of U.S. exports.
The SBA awarded $19 million in grants across the United States for fiscal 2021. Since its creation in 2010, STEP has awarded $157 million and is responsible for creating $3.8 billion in exports by U.S. companies. Over the history of the program, the Chafee Center is one of the grantees in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Island, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“SBA is proud to partner with the Rhode Island STEP grant awardee, the John H. Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University,” said SBA District Director Mark S. Hayward. “The Chafee Center has done an incredible job growing those small businesses that export and this award is a testament to that proven track record.”
About the Chafee Center
The John H. Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University is a resource for students, businesses, organizations, and individuals interested in global trade. Named for the late U.S. senator from Rhode Island—a long-time advocate of international trade and the benefits of introducing new markets to our nation's businesses—the Center’s mission is to foster world trade through collaboration with the University’s academic programs, partnerships with state and federal entities, and outreach to the business community.
For more information about the STEP grant, please contact Project Director Linda Woulfe (email@example.com) or Kathy Therieau, Director International Trade Programs (firstname.lastname@example.org).