Economic program helps exports from small Missouri companies

     (AP) – Small and medium-sized Missouri companies interested in
exporting their products overseas could get a boost from a state economic
     State officials were in Joplin last week to discuss the State Trade & Export
Promotion, which offers grants to encourage companies to consider new overseas
     The Joplin Globe reports the U.S. Small Business Administration announced in
February that Missouri would receive $634,000 toward STEP. The program focuses
on one part of the world for market development each year. This year's target is
the Middle East, specifically the United Arab Emirates.
     American Ramp Co., one of the largest skate park and ramp manufacturers in the
country, is in Joplin. Brandon Robinson, an official with the company, says the
program prompted American Ramp to consider the Middle East as a market.


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