(1) Contingent upon a specific appropriation, the Seaport Employment Training Grant Program (STEP) shall establish and administer the Florida-Caribbean Basin Trade Initiative for the purpose of assisting small and medium-sized businesses to become involved in international activities and helping them to identify markets with product demand, identify strategic alliances in those markets, and obtain the financing to effectuate trade opportunities in the Caribbean Basin. The initiative must focus assistance to businesses located in urban communities. The initiative shall offer export readiness, assistance and referral services, internships, seminars, workshops, conferences, and e-commerce plus mentoring and matchmaking services, but shall coordinate with and not duplicate those services provided by Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(2) To enhance initiative effectiveness and leverage resources, STEP shall coordinate initiative activities with Enterprise Florida, Inc., United States Export Assistance Centers, Florida Export Finance Corporation, Florida Trade Data Center, Small Business Development Centers, and any other organizations STEP deems appropriate. The coordination may encompass export assistance and referral services, export financing, job-training programs, educational programs, market research and development, market promotion, trade missions, e-commerce, and mentoring and matchmaking services relative to the expansion of trade between Florida and the Caribbean Basin. The initiative shall also form alliances with multilateral, international, and domestic funding programs from Florida, the United States, and the Caribbean Basin to coordinate systems and programs for fundamental assistance in facilitating trade and investment.
(3) STEP shall administer the Florida-Caribbean Basin Trade Initiative pursuant to a performance-based contract with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall develop performance measures, standards, and sanctions for the initiative. Performance measures must include, but are not limited to, the number of businesses assisted; the number of urban businesses assisted; and the increase in value of exports to the Caribbean which is attributable to the initiative.