Delaware Small Businesses Resume Global Travel Boosting Export Sales

 Delaware Small Businesses Resume Global Travel Boosting Export Sales

After two years of being grounded in the US due to the pandemic, Export Delaware is ready to travel the world again! We have an aggressive travel schedule planned for small businesses in Delaware that are ready to expand their exports around the world. So far we have traveled to Dubai (March 2022) and headed to South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania in May. Then we will go to Israel in the Summer.

A business trip to Dubai was a great initiative to get us back to our globetrotting routine! Four Delaware small businesses from different industries (bioscience, technology, medical devices, etc.) participated. Representatives from each company spent five days meeting with prospective customers in Dubai and the region. The Export Delaware team is preparing a full schedule with important business meetings. They even arranged and paid for cars and drivers to take participants from meeting to meeting, to make sure everyone could get to each meeting on time. As a result, participating small businesses estimate they will bring in more than $ 325,000 in new export sales, and sales have already reached!

“These state-led business trips have proven to be a successful strategy to enter new markets and increase export sales,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “The tailored support from the Export Delaware team and in-country trade representatives has made all the difference.”

The next trip to Africa will take place from May 9-18, 2022. Five Delaware small businesses will travel to one or more countries (South Africa, Kenya, and/or Tanzania) to meet with potential customers. . This trip is long overdue – While borders have been closed for the past two years due to the pandemic, Export Delaware is laying the foundation for Africa. Two “Virtual Trade Missions” took place. Our Export Delaware Foreign Trade Representative network coordinates virtual business meetings with pre-vetted potential customers, distributors, and resellers for our small business participants. The in-person trip scheduled for May is a follow-up effort to these virtual missions. “We expect participants to return to the U.S. with signed deals in hand as a result of the foundation laid over the past two years,” said Export Trade Director, Beth Pomper. In fact, one of our small businesses, Kango Express, is doing a public relations event launching their new service in South Africa with a partner recognized by Export Delaware.

The final trip on the calendar is scheduled for Israel, July, 2022. Six Delaware small businesses are lining up to participate. Once again, this trip follows several virtual meetings that take place in the first quarter of the year. “Our companies gained a lot of interest for their products and services in the first phase of virtual meetings,” said Beth Pomper. “We expect this follow-up trip to Israel to be very productive for participating small businesses.”

STEP (Export) Grants Support Travel Expenses
These trips are made possible through the SBA STEP Grant Program, which covers the costs of planning trips, assessing potential clients, and setting up individual meetings. In addition, each of the participating companies took advantage of the STEP Grant by using it to cover 50% of their flight and hotel costs while traveling. If traveling to expensive cities like Dubai, the STEP Grant can really help!

It’s never too late for small businesses in Delaware to take advantage of the STEP grant for their own international business travel. Whether you are traveling abroad to visit potential customers, follow up with current customers, or attend a trade show, we encourage you to apply! The STEP Grant is a reimbursement grant that will cover 50% of eligible, pre-approved export-related expenses.

If you are not planning to travel, but are making investments in other export marketing costs, we encourage you to apply as well. Here are some examples of how you can use STEP Grant funds to expand your exports:

  • Booth fees for performing at a tradeshow abroad
  • Travel costs (hotel and airfare) for visiting potential clients or distributors in another country
  • Export Credit Insurance
  • Fees for working with the US Commercial Service of International Partner Search
  • Fees associated with obtaining your CE Mark
  • Costs of translating your product manual into another language
  • Costs of optimizing and localizing your website for the foreign market

To apply, just go to and download the STEP Grant application. Write it down and be sure to outline the details of the trip you will be making and how much STEP Grant funding you are requesting. Then submit it to the Export Delaware team at [email protected]. You have until September 29, 2022, to spend the funds, and an application only takes about 15 minutes to complete.

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