BAC to award $1.25M to companies seeking to sell internationally

The New Jersey Business Action Center has been awarded $1.25 million in federal funds for the State Trade Expansion Program, an effort to support businesses looking to export goods.

The state’s successful NJSTEP program has been awarded funding for nine consecutive years. This year’s funding is the largest in the program’s history, having increased by 25% compared with 2020. The program has previously assisted hundreds of businesses, leading to millions of dollars in export sales around the world.

The NJSTEP program will provide financial awards on a first-come, first-served competitive basis to New Jersey eligible small businesses that are new to export, as well as those businesses that currently sell their goods and services to other countries. The program is funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

BAC Executive Director Melanie Willoughby said many businesses potentially could benefit.

“If your business has already realized the potential of a global market, or (you are) an entrepreneur seeking to increase sales and profit by taking your business worldwide, we encourage you to look into applying for a NJSTEP grant,” she said.

New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way, whose department oversees the BAC, said the program will help the state remain competitive.

About the BAC

The New Jersey Business Action Center is a business-first resource that offers no-cost, confidential assistance to help businesses grow. The team helps companies of all sizes save time and money by getting answers from government agencies, directing businesses to appropriate officials and contacts, and facilitating meetings and follow-ups from regulatory agencies. For further information, call 800-JERSEY-7, or click here.

“The goal of the program is to provide New Jersey companies with the resources and the knowledge needed to succeed when entering the global marketplace,” she said. “This year’s increase in funding will allow the NJBAC to help additional companies realize export opportunities and we look forward to seeing how this will impact the state’s economy.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, new opportunities under the NJSTEP program emerged. Online activities expanded comprehensive export promotion activities for recipients, including translation of websites, product literature and catalogs. This contrasts with NJSTEP recipients’ previous reliance on traditional trade shows and missions for export promotion.

Recipients that have previously benefited from the STEP grant award include GY Highland Biotech LLC, a medical equipment supplier that researches and manufactures in vitro and cancer diagnostics. The firm received an NJSTEP award to translate its website into Italian, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese.

Other awardees include Silver Defender, which manufactures antimicrobial films that cover a wide array of high-touch surfaces. The firm received an NJSTEP award for an international billboard to reach buyers in the U.K.

NJSTEP is administered by the BAC’s Office of Export Promotion. The application portal for the NJSTEP program opens Oct. 1. To learn more, visit the organization’s website at or call 800‑JERSEY‑7.