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Grants to help Hawai?i overseas exports

The state government is receiving $500,000 to support issuing grants and helping Hawai?i small businesses in expanding their markets overseas.

The money is coming from the federal Small Business Administration, after a tour by its agency administrator Isabella Guzman who visited with O?ahu small businesses.

US Senator Mazie Hirono, who hosted Guzman’s visit, said access to global markets is essential for small businesses in Hawai?i, especially as they work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hirono said with the Small Business Administration’s help in the last decade, Hawai?i’s small businesses have been able to expand into overseas markets by providing millions in financial support and creating hundreds of jobs and generating more than $80 million in new exports.

“As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, I’ll continue working to support Hawai?i’s small businesses, business owners, and the employees who power them,” Hirono said.

Under the federal State Trade Expansion Program, the $500,000 is going to the Hawai?i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Since its creation in 2011, the department has received more than $5 million in federal funding and helped more than 900 businesses in the state. It has also supported the creation of more than 900 jobs and created over $172 million in economic impacts and generated millions in state taxes, Hirono’s office said.

Guzman said the program has an extensive record helping small businesses grow their revenue by reaching beyond their borders to new markets and customers.

“Scaling these awards to meet growing opportunity and demand will help ensure that America’s 33 million small businesses and innovative startups are positioned to succeed with the resources and support they need to seize opportunities abroad, grow through trade and compete in this increasingly global economy,” Guzman said.