With funding from a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and matching funds contributed by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), the ACA runs Arizona’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). AZSTEP assists Arizona small businesses to enter export markets for the first time or to expand into new markets. This will enable these businesses (which account for 98% of the businesses in Arizona) to increase their revenues via international sales and to thereby be even more significant engines for job creation and economic growth in Arizona.
AZ STEP offers a number of services and tools to Arizona small businesses as they go global for the first time with their sales or enter new international markets. Through various types of technical assistance/capacity building and levels of financial assistance, the continuum of services and tools offered under AZSTEP are as follows:
- Export readiness assessment of your small business
- Export education and counseling for your company so that you can be informed and equipped for success on the international stage (this will be done via education/training workshops, seminars and webinars)
- Assistance with market selection strategy for your company so that it explores and enters markets that are best suited for your product or service
- Assistance to your company with website localization, translation and search optimization for export markets
- Assistance to your company in identifying actual, potential buyers, agents, distributors, end users, and other strategic partners in international markets
- Opportunities for your company to participate in sector-specific trade missions/summits and trade shows/expos (both internationally and in the U.S.) that have been carefully selected, comprehensively prepared, and professionally lead by ACA staff to maximize opportunities for success
AZSTEP entails dynamic collaboration with many public and private sector partners within the State of Arizona and also at the national level. These include the U.S. SBA, U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Assistance Center (USEAC), Arizona Small Business Development Center (AZSBDC) Network, U.S. Export-Import Bank, Arizona Technology Council (AZTC), Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Black Chamber of Commerce, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, among many others.
As indicated, AZSTEP is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Companies wishing to participate in the Arizona STEP program should email Kevin J. O’Shea.