December 18, 2017
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Small businesses can tap into new grant to help pay for international expansion

The U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded Washington state a $800,000 State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant to help small businesses in their efforts to expand internationally.

The grant can cover airfare, trade show fees, shipping of samples, website translation, compliance testing, visits to international trade shows or foreign trade missions, and more. Vouchers operate on a reimbursement basis and require the company to demonstrate paying at least 25 percent out of pocket.

"The majority of qualifying small companies that apply receive some kind of voucher and find the program very helpful," said Michele Ko, STEP program manager for the Office of Economic Development & Competitiveness in the Seattle office of the Washington State Department of Commerce.

According to the Department of Commerce, from mobile app developers and wakeboard manufacturers to remanufactured engine specialists and turnkey metalworkers, Washington state small businesses brought home more than $220 million in new export sales with assistance from this program.

More information is available online from the Department of Commerce.

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International Growth Zone

Northwest Startup Supporters Grow U.S.-Canada Economic Ties

By Benjamin Romano, editor, Xconomy Seattle

There's a new network organizing the incubators, accelerators, and investors fostering innovation in the Pacific Northwest on both sides of the U.S. - Canada border.

Business collaboration across the 49th parallel is having a moment, thanks in no small part to a dramatic divergence in immigration policies between the two countries this year that have prompted U.S. tech companies to establish or grow their presence in Canada to access talent from around the world.

The Cascadia Venture Acceleration Network (CVAN) is focused on collaboration at the grass-roots level of the innovation economy -- specifically the cleantech, life sciences, and IT industries -- in the broad area known as Cascadia, encompassing Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, Canada.

Read the full column in Xconomy Seattle
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