The New Mexico Economic Development Department on Monday announced it has received a federal grant that will help small businesses “cultivate the global marketplace.”
The grant, which is part of the federally backed State Trade Expansion Program, totals $250,000. It is the largest grant New Mexico has received under the program, EDD said.
“Thanks to the SBA and New Mexico Economic Development Department, STEP has become the most effective program we have to support new-to-export small businesses,” Celeste Nuñez, director of International Business Resources for the New Mexico Trade Alliance, said in a statement.
The program aims to help eligible small businesses export their products to places outside of New Mexico. The program will also offer services to assist with foreign trade shows, export training programs and “U.S. Department of Commerce’s Gold Key matchmaking services in major markets abroad,” according to the news release.
Eligibility includes businesses that are registered in the state and that have been operational for more than a year; those that have 500 or fewer employees; and companies whose products or services have 51% U.S. content, according to EDD.
New Mexico-based companies have benefitted from the program in the past, including UbiQD Inc. — which manufactures quantum dots for solar generation — and Pajarito Powder.
The state says some of the money from the grant will be used for sales missions planned in Germany and Asia. Grants of up to $7,500 are available for eligible businesses.
“As a rare start-up that has been global since inception, Pajarito Powder’s ability to exhibit at the most important international trade shows has been critical in establishing us as a leading provider of electrocatalyst materials for the hydrogen economy,” Pajarito Powder CEO Thomas Stephenson said. “Without the assistance of the STEP program, it would not have been possible for us to do so.”