State Trade and Export Promotion Awards from the SBA:

Idaho Announced as a 2014-2015 Grant Recipient!

The State Trade and Export Promotion Grant Program (STEP) is a 3-year pilot trade and export initiative to make matching-fund grants for states to assist “eligible small business concerns,” enter and succeed in the international marketplace. Services under the STEP Program are funded in part by U.S. Small Business Administration. In addition to state sanctioned activities, the Idaho International Market Access Grant (IMAG) initiative provides funding to eligible Idaho companies seeking financial assistance. Qualifying activities include participation in a Governor led trade or other foreign trade/sales mission, international trade show, registration for U.S. Department of Commerce services such as Gold Key status, and website translation. The IMAG initiative is aimed at achieving two goals: 1) increase the number of Idaho small businesses that export and 2) increase the value of exports for small businesses that currently export.

Now Accepting Applications for International Market Access Grants (IMAG)

We expect to award qualifying Idaho businesses up to 50 International Market Access Grants with this year’s STEP funding.

The Idaho Department of Commerce (IDC) and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) are pleased to announce the competitive solicitation process to award International Market Access Grants to support export efforts by small businesses in Idaho.

Program Uses

  • Foreign sales mission
  • Governor’s or foreign trade mission
  • Reverse trade mission
  • International trade show
  • Registration for Gold Key status and subscription to services with the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Translation of website

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for IMAG funding, Idaho companies must meet the following criteria:

  • Complies with SBA size standards found at 13 C.F.R. Part 121. Click here to link directly to the complete list of SBA size standards used to define small business concerns based on NAICS codes. In addition to the Small Business Size regulations, four additional SBA requirements unique to the STEP program are:       
    • Has been in business for not less than the 1-year period ending on the date on which assistance is provided under a STEP grant.

    • Is operating profitably, based on operations in the United States.
    • Has demonstrated an understanding of the costs associated with exporting and doing business with foreign purchasers, including the costs of freight forwarding, customs brokers, and packing and shipping.
    • Has in effect a strategic plan for exporting.  Developing an Export Plan
  • Operate a business in Idaho to process, assemble, and/or distribute a product or provide an exportable service. The company does not need to be headquartered in Idaho but must have operations located within the state to qualify.
  • Must not be presently debarred, suspended, proposed for disbarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in this transaction by any Federal department or agency.
  • Recipients must adhere to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Important Notes: 

  • Applicants must submit application a minimum of 45 days in advance of project start date.
  • Application Review schedule:       
    • November 5, 2014

    • February 13, 2015
    • May 1, 2015
    • June 29, 2015
    • August 31, 2015
  • Project period extension is now available for eligible International Trade Show projects starting October 1, 2015 and ending by October 30, 2015.  Grant funds may only be used for the allowable cost of booth space/registration fee.  Original match requirements still apply.
  • If project dates require special consideration, please contact Tina Salisbury 208-287-3164 immediately to discuss timeline.
  • 35% cash match required (for every authorized $1.00 you spend, you will be reimbursed $0.65 to a maximum of $3,900.00)       
    • If allowable expenditures are $1,000, you will be reimbursed $650 ($1,000 x 65% = $650)

    • If allowable expenditures are $2,500, you will be reimbursed $1,625 ($2,500 x 65% = $1,625)
    • If allowable expenditures are $6,000, you will be reimbursed $3,900 ($6,000 x 65% = $3,900)

IMAG Fact Sheet

To learn more about the STEP Program and the International Market Access Grant, click the following links to preview the application and guidelines and other required documents.


Application Outline

Budget 2 in 1 Template/Request for Funds

Performance Indicator Requirements

SBA Small Business Concern Certification


All applications are accepted online at Idaho Commerce’s Portal. To register for an account and apply for a STEP/IMAG grant, contact The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant program manager Tina Salisbury at 208-287-3164 or by email:

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    For questions, please contact  Tina Salisbury, (208) 287-3164