A new federal grant from the Small
Business Administration is enabling
the Montana Department of Commerce
to provide financial assistance
to Montana exporters.
The SBA awarded MDOC’s Office
of International Trade and Relations
a one-year grant of $307,849 to provide
financial assistance to qualified
Montana small businesses for their
promotional efforts in beginning to
export or expanding exports into new
The Montana International Marketing
Assistance Grant program is a
result of President Obama’s current
initiative to double U.S. exports by
2015 through the rural and small
business sectors.
Funds are available for marketing
expenses for attending international
trade shows; language translation and
production services for marketing
materials and websites; and
market research and other services
from the U.S. Commercial Service.
“Ninety-five percent of the world’s
consumers live outside of the United
States and as the world continues to
grow, so do the demands for Montana
goods,” said Governor Brian Schweitzer.
Small and medium sized companies
with fewer than 20 employees make
up the majority of growth in new
exporters nationally.
In 2010, Montana’s combined bulk
wheat and manufactured exports
reached a near record high total of
$1.96 billion. This is a 33 percent
increase over 2009, making 2010 the
second highest export year following
2008’s record high of $2.06 billion.
Those numbers don’t tell the whole
story because it isn’t only manufactured
products and value added
agriculture that make up Montana’s
exports. Tourism and education are
both considered service exports.
“We hope that major resorts, recreation
associations, and colleges and
universities consider using this opportunity,”
Stimac said.