Established in 2014 in Los Alamos, UBiQD’s first commercial product, UbiGro®, is a luminescent layer of light that uses fluorescence to create a more optimal greenhouse spectrum for crops. The film shifts the colors of sunlight to make plants grow faster and improves crop yield. Courtesy/EDD
Founded in 2012, Pajarito Powder is a leader in advanced catalyst and catalyst support development in rapidly accelerating clean/green hydrogen energy industries. The Albuquerque location serves as primary R&D and manufacturing operations for the international company. Courtesy/EDD
SANTA FE — New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced Monday that the state has been awarded a $250,000 STEP grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help small businesses cultivate the global marketplace.
The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is an initiative that provides matching grants for states to assist eligible small businesses export their products. The program offers assistance with foreign trade show booth space, interpreters, export training programs, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Gold Key matchmaking services in major markets abroad.
Expanding global trade is a priority for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham as a means to further diversify New Mexico’s economy. The $250,000 award is the largest the state has ever received under the STEP program.
“There has never been a better time to introduce your business to the international marketplace,” EDD Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “We are pleased to be able to provide guidance and support to our New Mexico businesses who want to grow with the aid of global sales.”
“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 said, Director of International Business Resources for the New Mexico Trade Alliance. “We can’t wait to utilize this new round of funding to usher in New Mexico’s next generation of exporters.”
Many companies have benefited from prior STEP grants:
- UbiQD, Inc., VP of Finance and Administration Liseth Garay said, “The New Mexico State Trade Expansion Program has been a good resource for us to explore new market opportunities abroad and it is a great initiative for small businesses to do the same.”
- Pajarito Powder CEO/Chairman Thomas J. Stephenson said, “STEP has been essential to Pajarito Powder’s success. As a rare start-up that has been global since inception, Pajarito Powder’s ability to exhibit at the most important international tradeshows has been critical in establishing us as a leading provider of electrocatalyst materials for the hydrogen economy. Without the assistance of the STEP program, it would not have been possible for us to do so.”
Two sales missions are planned for Hannover, Germany and Asia. Grants of up to $7,500 will be made to eligible companies. These companies must be registered in New Mexico, been operational for a minimum of one year, have fewer than 500 employees, and the company’s product or service must have at least 51 percent U.S. content.
Eligible activities covered under the STEP grant include participation in a foreign trade show or foreign trade mission, global website optimization, international business matchmaking, international market research, and foreign product registration.
To begin the application process, visit the NM STEP grant webpage and schedule a consultation.