LANSING — Michigan companies with fewer than 500 employees can qualify for financial assistance for export-related activities through a new export incentive program offered by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

“Export sales help diversify companies’ customer bases, provide longer term stability and can support higher paying jobs,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “This program is part of our continued economic gardening strategy to support existing Michigan companies and to create new jobs.”

The funds are being awarded through a $1.5 million federal export award to the State of Michigan under the U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade Export Pilot program.

The SBA STEP grant program provides direct reimbursements to qualified companies with fewer than 500 employees for export-related activities, ranging from free or low-cost export training and technical counseling to participation fees for international trade missions.

The program’s goal is to increase Michigan’s export sales, increase the number of companies that export and introduce current exporters to new foreign markets and buyers.

The MEDC’s export plan was developed through collaboration with strategic export service providers including U.S. Department of Commerce, Michigan Small Business Administration, Michigan Small Business Technology & Development Center, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Michigan State University’s Center for International Business Education and Research, along with Automation Alley and Van Andel Global Trade Center.

The MEDC will coordinate a statewide export assistance delivery system with public and private resources to ensure company access regardless of geographic location.

The MEDC’s STEP incentive export program will launch Oct. 1. For complete details on how companies can apply for assistance, including eligibility requirements and the application process, please visit

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