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SBA Office of International Trade

Export Newsletter - January 2023

u s small business administration


New Year, New Business: Be Sure To Include #GoingGlobal From Day 1

Photo of the numbers 2023 and the following text: Happy New Year. The SBA logo is at the bottom.

#HappyNewYear from all of us at the U.S. Small Business Administration! We have resources to help you start, grow, expand, or recover your business into the international marketplace in 2023. Read more here!


NY-Based Manufacturing Company
Takes a STEP Overseas


State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

Lisa Tran and her parents.

Silicon Carbide Products (SCP) is a manufacturing company that provides ceramic solutions used as an equipment liner to fight abrasion and corrosion in industrial environments. In the two decades since the business first started, SCP has grown to become an overseas exporter that employs 25 people in a 5-acre manufacturing facility based out of Horseheads, New York. In early 2018, Josh Dahlman and Rick Cleveland took over the company as President and Vice President. They were specifically tasked with diversifying the business and expanding their portfolio of customers. “This was one of the reasons that led us to expand globally. In many areas, such as Africa and India, it is not feasible for them to adopt other forms of energy when they have low cost coal in their markets. So, there was a natural drive to look outside of the U.S. because of that,” Cleveland states. 

Prior to Dahlman and Cleveland taking over the company, SCP only sold to international customers into Germany with no active program to expand their reach into other global marketsareas. To help with their exporting needs, SCP enrolled in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), a grant program that offsets the costs of a variety of international trade activities like foreign trade missions, trade show exhibitions, qualified foreign market sales trips, foreign language translation, and more. 

The grant funding enabled them to put together booths at International Trade Exhibits. “We were able to show people what we had and what we can do,” Cleveland adds. Just a few years later, international exports now account for 60% of Silicon Carbide Products sales. Want to boost your bottom line too? Read more about the Silicon Carbide Products story and see if you are eligible to apply now!


SBA Announces End-of-Year Capital Benchmarks Showing Historic Support for Small Businesses – Including Exporters

SBA-Guaranteed Loans

The SBA provided nearly $43 billion through small business capital programs in Fiscal Year 2022, 504 Loan and SBIC programs reached historic funding levels and small dollar and export loans increased as Administrator advanced reforms to close capital access gaps for underserved communities. More specifically, the SBA guaranteed $584.4 million in export-related trade finance. This reversed a four-year downward trend, and despite a strengthening U.S. dollar environment, the SBA underwrote $275.3M in Export Express and International Trade term loans, while simultaneously expanding its Export Working Capital portfolio to $309.1M. Read about the Agency’s entire impact here!  

USTR Extends Section 301 China
Tariff Exclusions for 9 Months 

On December 16, USTR announced that the extension of the 352 tariff exclusions in the Section 301 Investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation.  The exclusions are extended until September 30, 2023. Review the Federal Register Notice on the 352 tariff exclusion extensions here.  

Exporter Advice for and from Small Business Manufacturers

Export Around the World

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has recently posted some video testimonials from and for small businesses considering global market opportunities.  As part of the celebration of Manufacturing Month 2022 in October, NAM launched a new webpage to celebrate and encourage U.S. manufactured exports.  These testimonials, advice from experienced exporters, can be found on Exporting to Markets Around the World | NAM.


Recording Available: U.S.-European Union Trade & Technology Council Webinar

OIT Webinar

On December 13, the United States and the European Union hosted a webinar entitled “How Standards Help SMEs to Innovate, Compete, and Grow” as part of the US-EU Trade & Technology Council (TTC). OIT Director of International Trade Policy Christine Brown (bottom right) moderated a panel highlighting the tools and resources available to help SMEs in the U.S. and the EU. Check out the recording here. For more information on SME related activities under the TTC, click here

SBA & Bankers Association for Finance & Trade Announce Strategic Alliance to Support Small Exporters

SBA and BAFT Signing Ceremony

OIT Associate Administrator Gabe Esparza & BAFT President Tod Burwell

“SBA’s new agreement with BAFT recognizes the impact and ingenuity of our small business exporters and the important role our lending partners play in funding their growth,” said Administrator Guzman. “Our joint efforts to increase resources to BAFT members and grow the number of lenders offering SBA international trade products will expand access to capital. By doing so, this work helps deliver on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to create opportunities for small businesses, and strengthen our economy for all of us." Read the full press release here

2023 Growth Accelerator Fund:
Application Period Now Open


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering $50,000 to $200,000 in prize awards for impactful and inclusive approaches to foster a thriving, collaborative national innovation support ecosystem to advance research and development (R&D) from ideas to impact.
By fostering connections between entrepreneurs, advisors, mentors, partners, philanthropies, corporations, investors, and other shared resources, the 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) will catalyze strategic ecosystem partnerships to build community and organizational capacity for the successful launch, growth, and scale of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)-based entrepreneurs and startups. Learn more and apply now!

Free Resource Designed for Female Entrepreneurs: Growing Globally

Ascent Platform: Growing Globally

SBA launched our latest digital tool to walk small businesses through the international trade journey this fall with “Growing Globally”, one of several training courses housed in the revamped Ascent online learning platform. “Growing Globally” highlights six modules that guide entrepreneurs through the benefits and risks of expanding into international markets and introduce them to tools they need to succeed.


For Small Businesses: Grow Your Sales Through Trade

Feb. 9th at 2pm ET 


Illustration of a globe and building with the following text, take your business global. The SBA logo is at the bottom.

Are you a small business looking to expand? Did you know that the best way to boost your bottom line is to look outside of our US borders. Selling internationally can help protect your bottom line from the ebbs and flows of one domestic market, while granting you access to more buyers. Learn about access to markets, access to grants, and access to capital to help your business enter the global marketplace! Join experts from the U.S Small Business Administration's Office of International Trade to hear how you can:

  • access export resources
  • find international buyers
  • obtain financing
  • protect your foreign receivables

Exporting to Canada: Insights and Resources for U.S. Women Small Businesses | March 23 1pm ET


Export Strategy

Are you a woman small business looking to grow sales in Canada? Whether you are preparing your market entry strategy or looking to expand, register to join a discussion with experts from SBA’s Office of International Trade and the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and Foreign Commercial Service in Canada to learn more about this exciting market.  You will receive insights on opportunities in the Canadian market, considerations for U.S. women-owned businesses doing business in Canada, and information on programs and services available from both SBA and Commerce to support you. 


NOTE: if you live in a state or territory that has received 2023 State Trade Expansion Program funds, you can apply for a grant to offset the costs of attending these shows, and more! Click here to learn more.


Access ASEAN: Explore Business Opportunities in Southeast Asia and Beyond! 

Bangkok, Thailand | March 13-15, 2023


ASEAN Trade Mission

Join the U.S. Commercial Service in Bangkok, Thailand for the largest U.S. government-led trade mission and business development forum. Organized by the U.S. Commercial Service, Trade Winds will feature meetings with U.S. commercial diplomats from over 20 countries in Asia, exciting conference programming, and plenty of networking. For detailed information on how your small business can participate in TradeWinds ASEAN please contact Richard.Swanson@Trade.Gov 

Executive-Led Middle East Clean Tech Trade Mission  Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Israel | March 12-27, 2023


The executive-led trade mission will introduce U.S. companies and trade associations to the United States’ largest trading partners and four of the largest economies in the Middle East, all of whose governments are investing heavily in Clean Tech to contribute to the global fight against climate change and to diversify and develop their economies.  This mission will also offer an opportunity for participants to meet with key Saudi, Emirati, Israeli, and Qatari project decision makers while in the presence of a senior Commerce Executive – and such senior leader messaging is vital in a region where governments play such an important role in the economy. Participating firms will gain market insights, make industry contacts, solidify business strategies, and advance their own specific projects, all with the goal of increasing U.S. Clean Tech goods and service exports to the region.

Executive-Led U.S. Business Development Mission to Kenya (optional Tanzania stop) | March 27-20, 2023


Trade Mission

The Trade Mission will allow interested U.S. companies to engage with businesses and with the newly elected Government of Kenya. Companies will have the opportunity to learn about Kenya’s new economic plan, current and prospective government projects, and present their products and solutions that can help the government achieve its economic goals. Similarly, participants will be able to engage governments within the region on their respective country priorities and projects. The mission will focus on the following priority sectors: healthcare, information communications technology (ICT), and infrastructure. 

The Trade Mission coincides with the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Kenya’s Regional Business Summit that brings together key government and business leaders from East Africa – Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For more information, contact: Larry Tabash, U.S. Commercial Service – Austin, TX, Larry.Tabash@trade.gov, +1 512-936-0039 

Global Diversity Export Initiative Business Mission to Africa South Africa, Ghana, & Nigeria | August 6-15, 2023


Africa Trade Mission

The Global Diversity Export Initiative (GDEI) Trade Mission to Africa is focused on building commercial bridges between U.S. owned or led businesses from underserved communities and business communities in South Africa, Ghana, and an optional stop in Nigeria.

The mission will help participating firms and organizations gain market insights, make industry contacts, solidify business strategies, and advance specific projects, with the goal of increasing U.S. exports. By participating in an official U.S. industry delegation, rather than traveling on their own, U.S. companies will enhance their ability to secure meetings and gain greater exposure in these markets.

Want to Learn More? The Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration will be hosting an information session on the upcoming mission on January 26, at 12:00pm EST.  Please join us to learn more about the mission and the application process. Register for the listening session here 

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