Maine International Trade Center, which helps Maine businesses export their goods and services, received a $344,500 grant from the federal government to increase overseas sales.

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the award was granted through the SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program. It is the seventh consecutive year that MITC received funding through the STEP program.

More than 50 Maine companies received STEP Financial Assistance Awards in fiscal year 2017-2018, resulting in $12.8 million in actual sales with an additional $17.2 million projected in the next 12-18 months, according to a statement from the SBA announcing the award. The data reflects a 73:1 immediate return and a projected 98:1 future return on grant funds, it said.

“The STEP program has helped hundreds of small businesses in Maine become better, stronger, and smarter exporters, in addition to providing financial support to directly explore global markets,” said MITC President Wade Merritt.

Maine businesses interested in learning more about STEP Financial Assistance Awards, including guidelines and the online application link, should go to

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