Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, has secured $450,000 in federal grants to help small businesses export their products and services to international markets.

“Marketing Oregon’s products to the world starts with access,” said Governor Kate Brown. “These grants open the door for Oregon’s small businesses to markets around the globe.

The U.S. Small Business Administration grants help Oregon companies offset the cost of overseas marketing, including booth fees at international trade shows. About 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States, but less than 1 percent of U.S. small businesses export. The State Trade and Export Promotion grants encourage small businesses to pursue growing sales globally, which can drive job growth locally.

This is the fourth straight time Business Oregon has been awarded grants through the SBA’s competitive application process. During the previous three years, Oregon received a combined $1.2 million. Business Oregon has provided grants to 153 Oregon small businesses, producing a reported $36 million in immediate export sales. That’s a return of $31 in export sales for every $1 in federal grants provided.

Metolius Climbing of Bend, Bulk Handling Systems of Eugene and Plasti-Fab of Tualatin are examples of companies that have used Business Oregon’s export promotion program to attend overseas trade shows and reported a growth in exports.

“The export assistance program enables small Oregon businesses, like Metolius, to expand into international markets with confidence by offsetting some of the costs that make these trade shows prohibitive,” said Chip Miller, the company’s global sales director.

About the State Trade and Export Promotion program: It’s a federal-state partnership grant initiative to increase the number of small businesses that export and the value of exports by the small business sector.The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 authorized the program.

To apply for Oregon grant funding: Oregon small businesses can apply online. To qualify, at least 75 percent of the company’s total employees must be employed in Oregon. Learn more.

For media: Visit Business Oregon’s Flickr album to find photos that can be downloaded. For examples of companies in your community that have used the export promotion program, contact Ryan Frank at or 971-804-2530.