NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF MISSOURI GOVERNOR JAY NIXON
Missouri is among top performing states in national export program, Gov. Nixon announces
JEFFERSON CITY— Returning home from a successful trade mission to Canada this week, Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that a U.S. Small Business Administration report found Missouri to be among the top performing states participating in the State Trade and Export Promotion Grant Program (STEP), a pilot program launched in 2010 to help businesses engage in exporting activities.
“By getting more Missouri goods on the global map, we’re creating more jobs here at home,” Gov. Nixon said. “This top ranking is a testament to our commitment to getting more Missouri products out of warehouses and into stores worldwide. As we saw this week in Canada, ‘Made in Missouri’ is seen as a stamp of excellence that continues to be in high demand around the globe.”
STEP is a federally funded program that offsets costs associated with trade missions and trade shows for participating businesses, allowing them to establish relationships in new markets and sell their goods overseas. In the first year STEP went into effect, October 2011 through September 2012, Missouri ranked first in export sales with participating businesses exporting $38.5 million worth of goods overseas.
For the second year of the program, October 2012 through September 2013, Missouri remained in the top five for export sales by grant recipients with $24.6 million and in the top 10 for return on investment. In all, Missouri was one of only three states to remain in the top 10 for export performance.
With $2.3 million in his Fiscal Year 2014 budget, the Governor established Export Missouri, a program that builds onto the STEP program and enhances resources for Missouri businesses engaged in exporting.
“Establishing and strengthening relationships with foreign markets is crucial to growing our businesses and our economy,” Department of Economic Development Director Mike Downing said. “That was made clear when Missouri signed the first-ever trade agreement with the province of Ontario and a $3.2 billion trade agreement with Quebec during our trade mission to Canada.”
Increasing exports has been a central focus of Gov. Nixon’s efforts to create jobs and grow Missouri’s economy. Since the Governor’s Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth recommended developing a “Best in Class” foreign trade initiative, Gov. Nixon has led successful trade missions to China, Brazil, Korea, Europe, the Republic of China (Taiwan), and Canada, closing agreements to sell a total of $9.7 billion in Missouri goods.
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