The Georgia Department of Economic Development‘s international trade division has landed more than $1 million in grants for programs designed to help small businesses boost exports throughout the next year.

A grant of $973,429 from the U.S. Small Business Administration is to be used to establish the G.R.O.W. (Georgia Reaching Out Worldwide) Step by Step program.

The program would focus on educating companies, especially in rural areas, about exporting and available export programs. It would also help Georgia companies meet overseas customers at trade shows and through inbound delegations.

G.R.O.W. would also advance a variety of trade resources and services. A Georgia Exporters’ Directory is planned. The state also aims to match exporters with trading firms, conduct market research and comb databases for viable export leads, according to a news release from Gov. Nathan Deal‘s office.

The State Trade and Export Promotion pilot grant was part of $30 million in grants awarded to states by the SBA. The funds were authorized by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 in line with President Obama‘s National Export Initiative. Georgia was one of eight states to get more than $900,000 and was awarded the largest sum in the Southeast.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development also will receive a $100,000 Global Appalachia Export Development grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

It will go toward expanding exports in the Appalachian region in the northern part of the state. Programs associated with the grant include business-to-business mentoring, briefings with country experts and a trade mission to Singapore and Southeast Asia, according to the release.

Georgia’s exports stood at $28.9 billion in 2010, a 20 percent increase over the previous year and an annual record. 

Small businesses interested in export help under the STEP program should call (404) 962-4122 or visit

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...