(FLINT, MICH)  Local companies can still benefit from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Pure Michigan State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant money for export related activities.  Proposals for the $150,000 in grants must be submitted by July 15.

Companies can qualify for up to $25,000 in assistance to offset a portion of their export marketing-related costs.  Eligible activities include:  foreign market sales trips, foreign trade shows, foreign trade missions and translations of materials and websites. Local companies including the Coffee Beanery have already benefited from STEP grants.

“The STEP program is one of the many ways that our Economic Development team can assist local companies with diversification and growth,” said Tim Herman, CEO for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

Jim Briggs, Controller for Coffee Beanery says the Regional Chamber introduced his company to the MEDC STEP program and assisted them with the process.

“Earlier this year our Vice President of Franchise Development Kurt Shaw traveled to India to explore opportunities,” said Briggs.  “We applied for a MEDC STEP grant and received a grant to cover half of his travel costs.  The trip was very fruitful and the grant helped make it happen.”

The Michigan STEP is a statewide effort designed to spur job creation and is intended to assist companies in exploring the export market.  The program, which is funded by MEDC through an SBA grant, helps eliminate the cost barriers to exporting by providing financial assistance to qualified organizations seeking entry and expansion in foreign markets.

The Regional Chamber Economic Development team can provide additional assistance for companies in the region looking to explore global possibilities.  For more information contact Janice Karcher at (810) 600-1430 or jkarcher@flintandgenesee.org .

For more information on the STEP program and the grant application process, visit www.michiganadvantage.org/STEP .

About the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce

The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce (www.flintandgenesee.org) is the voice of business and community advocacy in Genesee County. The Regional Chamber is over 100 years old, was established before the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and is a founding member of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Two words describe the Regional Chamber as it enters its second century of service: collaboration and partnership. It is our goal to work with government, business, education and nonprofit organizations to support the growth and development of the community economically, culturally and socially.