Read the latest North Carolina International Trade Report, get information on the North Carolina Passport to Export STEP Program and find additional international trade resources.

2019 North Carolina International Trade Report

The 2019 North Carolina International Trade Report digs deeper into the details of a year when the state reached a new milestone in exporting. The value of goods exported from North Carolina reached a record $34.35 billion, a nearly 5% increase over 2018.

The report examines export data across multiple industry sectors, highlighting North Carolina’s top export commodities and markets. It’s a high-level look at North Carolina’s export activity for both business owners and local economic developers.

In 2019, 614 North Carolina businesses turned to the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina for assistance ranging from funding to participate in trade shows and developing effective market-entry strategies to navigating trade agreements and complying with trade regulations.

2019 North Carolina International Trade Report

North Carolina Passport to Export STEP Program

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), provides funding to qualifying small businesses to offset costs associated with exporting. STEP funds are used to assist companies with participating in foreign trade shows and trade missions, translating marketing materials and websites to attract foreign buyers; obtaining services to support foreign market entry; attending select export education courses throughout the state; and participating in the Southeastern Asia Initiative.

Qualifying companies can receive up to $24,000 in reimbursement funds through the NC STEP Program. This can include up to $5,000 in reimbursement towards booth costs associated with exhibiting on their own at a virtual trade show or an in-person trade show with an international focus, up to $3,000 in reimbursement toward eligible flight and lodging costs for 1 or 2 company employees to exhibit at a qualifying trade show, up to $6,000 in reimbursement toward export services which assist them in reaching foreign markets such as the translation of marketing media and digital ad placement including social media, and up to $10,000 in reimbursement toward website localization to foreign markets and certain E-commerce fees. To learn more about online marketing and localizing your website to sell internationally, watch this webinar.

To learn if your company is eligible to participate and to view the full list of qualifying tradeshows, download our 2020-2022 NC STEP Program flyer.

To apply for the 2020-2022 NC STEP Program, download the application now.

Additional Resources

U.S. Commercial Services

Find resources from across the U.S. Government that help American businesses plan their international sales strategies.

U.S. Department of Commerce

Learn how the Department of Commerce operates, get information on grant opportunities, find local contacts for services and offices in your city, and more.

North Carolina Department of Agriculture

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture provides essential resources needed to bridge the gap between international buyers and North Carolina agribusiness.

Small Business and Technology Development Center

With offices on university campuses, the North Carolina SBTDC provides management counseling and educational services free of charge to small and mid-sized businesses.

Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

EXIM provides trade financing solutions including export credit insurance, working capital guarantees and guarantees of commercial loans to foreign buyers.

North Carolina Ports

Find information on North Carolina’s ports, including customer service for your business, maps and directions, business directories and more.

North Carolina District Export Council

NCDEC provides expertise, mentoring programs and tools to small and medium-sized businesses interested in exporting.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

OPIC provides financial loans and guaranties, political risk insurance, and support for investment funds, all of which help American businesses expand into emerging markets.

U.S. Trade and Development Agency

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.

U.S. Department of State

Learn how the State Department works, find links to its bureaus and offices, and see examples of diplomacy in action.

International Monetary Fund

The IMF monitors global economic trends that affect the health of the international financial system, and provides technical assistance and resources to members in the event of a crisis.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Learn about SBA assistance including access to capital (business financing), entrepreneurial development (education, information, technical assistance and training), government contracting (federal procurement) and advocacy (voice for small business).

Appalachian Regional Commission

Each year, ARC provides funding for several hundred investments in the Appalachian region in areas such as international business development, education and job training, telecommunications, infrastructure, community development, housing and transportation.