SALT LAKE CITY — Funding for small businesses in Utah is on the rise.

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced Tuesday that Utah small businesses may apply for matching grants to offset expenses related to exhibiting at international events.

GOED and the U.S. Small Business Administration are offering funds through the State Trade and Export Promotion program.

STEP awards can be for up to $2,250 and require a 25 percent cash match by the recipient up to $750.
 Expenses eligible for reimbursement include airfare, trade show exhibitor fees, booth rental fees, Gold Key Service, freight costs of equipment and exhibit materials to and from trade shows, interpretation service, ground transportation costs within the hosting locale, and a per diem for one employee or agent for the duration of the event, plus travel time up to one day before and on the day after the event.

Applications for STEP funding are due four weeks prior to trade shows. In addition, the events must occur before Sept. 30. Awards will be distributed to Utah-based small businesses on a first-come, first-served basis, with preference given to companies that demonstrate financial need.

Prospective applicants can visit for more information.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a new report showing that participants receiving capital through the Small Business Lending Fund boosted small-business lending nationwide by $9 billion over baseline levels since the depths of the recession.

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In Utah, SBLF participants have increased their small-business lending by nearly $207.7 million, including a $79.2 million hike in the first quarter of 2013.

Community banks participating in SBLF have increased total business lending by 41.5 percent.

The SBLF program, established as part of the Small Business Jobs Act signed into law in 2010, encourages community banks to increase their lending to small businesses, helping companies expand their operations and create new jobs.


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