SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO)– South Dakota businesses looking to expand into international exports can now benefit from $200,000 in federal grants now available through South Dakota Trade.

How companies can use the new funds from the State Trade Expansion (STEP) Program in tonight’s Your Money Matters.

“This is the second year receiving the STEP grant,” SD Trade President and CEO Luke Lindberg said. “This year were awarded $200,000 from the US Small Business Administration.”

Combined with last year’s $175,000 grant, the new organization, South Dakota Trade, is offering many opportunities to business owners across the state.

“It covers the educational opportunities SD Trade offers, which may be for a new business that’s never exported before and needs to understand what the process looks like,” Lindberg said.

Their Export 101 courses are held every Spring and Fall, helping more South Dakota businesses enter the international market. But STEP dollars also help those companies meet with potential buyers.

“The STEP program has provided us that ability to be there, to meet people from all over the world where they gather,” Houdek Chief Communications Officer John Mollison said.

Houdek is based out of Volga but sends its products all over the world.

“A vast amount of our business is overseas, aquaculture, that’s an international business, we’re getting into pet food, that’s an international business,” Mollison said.

The STEP funds have helped the South Dakota company travel to meet with more international buyers this past year.

“We just got back from the global shrimp program in Amsterdam and that was part of the STEP program, that gives us the extra incentive to build fantastic and important relationships with people from all over the world,” Mollison said.

“We also take companies on our trade missions; we are leading our first trade mission down to Mexico City,” Luke Lindberg said.

Later this month South Dakota Trade is using STEP dollars to help send six local companies and state leaders to the Food Tech Summit and Expo in Mexico City.

“It’s the largest of its kind in Latin American, has over 17,000 participants who are actively trying to buy products from places like South Dakota,” Lindberg said.

For companies interested in learning more about applying for training or travel through the STEP grant, visit South Dakota Trade’s website.