ACA to Hold Free Export Seminar

Information given on how Arizona businesses can expand into new markets


PHOENIX, AZ (April 19, 2012)  As part of its ongoing commitment to provide Arizona small businesses with the tools needed to expand, the Arizona Commerce Authority, through the State Trade and Export Promotion Program (STEP), will hold a free workshop aimed at educating small and medium sized businesses on becoming first time exporters or entering new export markets.


“Exporting Makes Dollars and Sense” will take place on April 24 from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at Dobson Lecture Hall, Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street. A continental breakfast will be served. Attendees will benefit from hearing from experts in exporting and learn practical tools on how to sell products and services internationally.


Those wishing to attend the conference must register by emailing Jennifer Graves or calling 480-644-3963. The workshop is free, open to the public and sponsored by the cities of Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe and Queen Creek.


Earlier this year, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) awarded the ACA $656,000 in grant money to help small businesses (those with less than 500 employees) enter export markets for the first time or to expand into new markets. Coupled with ACA’s 25 percent match, the STEP program totals $800,000. ACA’s STEP program offers a continuum of services such as providing financial assistance and opportunities to companies in connection with trade missions and B2B trade shows, reimbursement for export services provided by the U.S. Commercial Service, education and counseling, market selection assistance, and development and translation of marketing materials. Ultimately, this will help Arizona businesses expand and become engines for job creation and economic growth in the state.


Since launching STEP six months ago, nearly 80 companies have enrolled in the program; 30 of which come from the East Valley. The companies, through the assistance and education provided in the program, are exporting goods and services across the globe to markets such as Australia, Chile, China, Bulgaria, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand.


In addition to STEP, the ACA secured $18.2 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative for the Arizona Innovation Accelerator Fund to spur lending to Arizona’s small businesses and foster business expansion, capital investment and job creation in Arizona. The ACA also received more than 300 company applications for the second Arizona Innovation Challenge, which will award $1.5 million dollars to early stage ventures in May.


Media Contact

Nicole McTheny, Arizona Commerce Authority, (602) 845-1231, [email protected]


About the Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create – attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.