Help available for small business looking to export worldwide

Ohio Development Services Agency now accepting grant applications


The Export Assistance Office of the Ohio Development Services Agency is ready to help small and medium-sized businesses sell their goods and services overseas. Recently, the state of Ohio was awarded $700,000 by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program – STEP – to offset the costs associated with international marketing initiatives through the Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters – IMAGE – program.

“Ohio businesses exported more than $50 billion of goods and services in 2017,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “By offsetting the high costs with doing business internationally, we can help more Ohio businesses reach new customers and increase sales.”

In the first five years of the program, 312 businesses have received funding to promote their products and services in international markets, resulting in more than $87 million in export sales.

“STEP, as well as SBA’s other export resources, are important tools for America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs to expand into international markets,” said SBA Region V Administrator Rob Scott. “More than three quarters of the world’s purchasing powers is outside of the United States. By tapping into global markets, small businesses are able to grow faster and are more likely to stay in business.”

The IMAGE program is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses increase exports and create jobs in Ohio’s economy. IMAGE is a 50 percent reimbursement program capped at $12,500 per eligible approved applicant. The 2019 IMAGE program will run through Sept. 29, 2019.

For information or to apply, visit