The US Small Business Administration is providing $30 million in grants to states, territories, and the District of Columbia, to help increase exporting by small businesses during the next 12 months. The grants were authorized by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, under the State Trade and Export Promotion Program (STEP). Vermont has been allocated $363,768.The STEP program, launched in March, aligns with President Obama’s National Export Initiative. The President’s initiative calls for doubling U.S. exports in five years ‘ and in so doing, supporting two million jobs. The program provides federal government funding for 65 to75 percent of program costs, with states supplying the remainder. SBA Administrator Karen Mills announced the awards today at an event in Raleigh, N.C., at Raleigh Denim, a small business that produces and exports denim products. Forty-seven states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands received STEP grants.‘Strengthening the nation’s economy through a substantial increase of U.S. exports is a top priority for the Administration and the agency,’ said Mills. ‘This is a unique partnership between the federal government and the states. Sharing responsibilities and resources will help new small exporters across the country enter and succeed in the global market.’The funding will support participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, subscriptions to services provided by the Department of Commerce, website translations fees, design of international marketing media, trade show exhibitions, participation in training workshops, and other critical export initiatives.Small businesses that want to receive assistance under the STEP program should contact the organizations serving the states in which they are located. For a list of these organizations and more information about the STEP program, visit http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2889/resources/14315(link is external).The SBA anticipates it will conduct a new competition for STEP program grants during the winter of 2011. Awards will be made in September 2012 for export support services by states over the following 12 months.
Chris Elliott raced to the win in the Red River IMCA Modified Tour at Grayson County Speedway May 31. (photo by Debra Hix)By Mike SpiekerBELLS, Texas (May 31) – The inaugural Red River IMCA Modified Tour produced its fifth different winner in as many nights Thursday at Grayson County Speedway.Chris Elliott started fifth and charged to the $1,000 payday and a berth on the Fast Shafts All Star Invitational ballot.“This feels so good,” said Elliott in victory lane. “We were working on this thing until 7:30 in the morning. The car has been really good, I just haven’t had any luck in the features. [Grayson County Speedway] is my type of place. This place is awesome. It was a lot of fun out there.”David McKay and Justin Radcliff led the field of 25 IMCA Modifieds to the green flag for the 25-lap feature. McKay grabbed the lead on the opening lap, but Radcliff came storming back to take the point on lap three. Matt Guillaume took advantage of a lap six restart as he raced into second.Elliott, who was the only car in the top five running the cushion, was making progress as he moved into third on lap seven. Two circuits later, Elliott found a way around Guillaume.A thrilling three-wide race for the lead broke out around the halfway point as both Elliott and Guillaume reeled in Radcliff for the lead. The lead trio went three-wide down the back straightaway before they all swapped lanes in turns three and four.Exiting the turn, Elliott made a textbook crossover move underneath both Radcliff and Guillaume to take the lead entering turn one.Once out front, Elliott found his groove up on the high side once again and set sail.At the line, Elliott topped Sustaire, Riley Simmons and Guillaume.Results – 1. Chris Elliott; 2. Kevin Sustaire; 3. Riley Simmons; 4. Matt Guillaume; 5. Fred Wojtek; 6. Jeffrey Abbey; 7. Justin Radcliff; 8. Chase Allen; 9. Kyle Whitworth; 10. Kevin Green; 11. Cory Davis; 12. John Gober; 13. Jeff Hoegh; 14. David McKay; 15. Jason Hillard; 16. Chad Melton; 17. Brian Schultz; 18. Robbie Daniels; 19. Ryan Williams; 20. Talon Minten; 21. Bo Day; 22. Josh McGaha; 23. JP Dowell; 24. Curtis Allen; 25. Mark Carrell.