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Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

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On an average day, Trina Worrell Benjamin handles invoices, returns calls and emails, directs a team of nearly a dozen employees and manages a client roster that has included big names like Rite Aid and Toys“R”Us. She admits her first steps into entrepreneurship were not easy. But with the help of…

Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

  • SBDC: Temple University SBDC
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Pennsylvania Receives $1.7 Million Federal Grant to Increase Small Business Exports

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Last week the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) announced it received a $1.7 million State Trade and Export Promotion grant from the federal Small Business Administration (SBA). The grant will increase export assistance that is available to Pennsylvania’s small businesses.

“Providing small businesses with the tools they need to grow and create jobs in the state is a top priority of the governor and our agency,” DCED Secretary C. Alan Walker said in the release. “Export assistance is a great resource for small businesses interested in selling their goods and services to new markets.”

The SBA’s State Trade and Export Promotion Grant (STEP) Pilot Grant Initiative provides grants to states for small business exporting assistance programs. The STEP Initiative works to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and boost the value of exports for those small firms already exporting.

According to the SBA, the STEP project will provide for small business participation in international and domestic trade shows and missions. Target industries include food, energy, medical devices, and wood/building and target markets include Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, Chile, Germany, Korea, India, and China.

Over the years, the Pennsylvania SBDC has helped hundreds of businesses successfully enter international markets. In the first half of 2011 alone, the SBDC consulted with clients on international trade issues in 910 separate consulting sessions. A total of nine educational programs, including the "Economics of Exporting" and "Doing Business with Africa," were attended by 139 individuals. During this six month reporting period, Pennsylvania SBDC clients reported an increase of $5.2 million in export sales.

Read more about Pennsylvania SBDC International Business Services and International Business Success Stories.