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GOED Awarded Two SBA Grants to Foster Business Growth

STEP, FAST Grant Money Available to Eligible Companies
The GOED was recently awarded two grants from the South Dakota Small Business Administration (SBA) that will benefit eligible businesses in the state. The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) will assist companies wishing to export their products to foreign markets and the Federal and State Technology (FAST) grant will support technology-based entrepreneurs and commercialization of innovations.

“These grants are really two great opportunities for our in-state businesses, and I’d like encourage as many interested companies as possible to apply,” said GOED Commissioner Scott Stern. “As economic developers, we now have two more tools at our disposal to help our South Dakota companies and facilitate business growth.”

The STEP grant program is an export initiative that provides matching funds to states that assist small businesses with international trade development. The program’s objectives are to increase the number of U.S. small businesses that export and the value of those exports. State government organizations manage STEP activities locally, while the SBA’s Office of International Trade manages activities at the national level.

For more information on the STEP grant, contact Alex Smith, STEP grant project director at the GOED, at or 605-782-3287.

The FAST grant, in conjunction with the GOED’s Proof of Concept program, will support the creation of “I-Corp” teams. Ten teams consisting of an inventor, experienced business mentor, graduate and undergraduate student were selected to participate in the program.

Teams will develop and execute a 12 month plan to move the new technology toward market. Teams selected for the program participate in a 3 day business start-up boot camp, a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) proposal preparation workshop and utilize GOED and other support programs to execute their development plan.

Individuals interested in learning more about the FAST I-Corp programs should visit the FAST Project link at the GOED website or contact Mel Ustad, FAST project director at the GOED, at or 605-367-4516 for details.


Commissioner Stern Speaking at MADEC Panel

Scott Stern
GOED Commissioner Scott Stern will be speaking on a State Director’s Panel at the 2016 2016 Mid-America Competitiveness Conference & Site Selector Forum, scheduled for Dec. 4-6 in Chicago. The State Directors Panel is Dec. 5 from 8:30-10:00 a.m. 

The conference is hosted by the Mid-America Economic Development Council (MAEDC), a regional economic development organization that shares best practices and serves as a resource for contacting site selectors, advancing regional economic development programs, and accessing thought leadership.

MAEDC serves a 12-state region that collectively compromises 18 percent of the U.S. GDP; possesses strong industry sectors in agriculture, manufacturing, automotive, food, healthcare, and insurance; is home to more than 225 headquartered Fortune 1000 companies; and houses more than 750 public and private universities and colleges and 40 national laboratories. 

Dates to Remember

Jan. 17-20, 2017: The GOED will be exhibiting at the 2017 Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas. Community Economic Development Organizations interested in a partnership should contact Jen Lambley or visit the "tradeshow opportunities" tab on our partner website.

April 26, 2017: The Governor’s Economic Development Conference and Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition will be held in Sioux Falls.

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This is a publication of the Governor's Office of Economic Development. Commissioner Scott Stern; Deputy Commissioner-Aaron Scheibe; Marketing and Public Relations Director-Mary Lehecka Nelson; Editor and Designer-Jennifer Lambley. © Copyright 2016