Idaho’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP GRANT)

STEP YEAR: September 30, 2017 – September 29, 2018

We anticipate the next round of STEP Grant funding will be awarded to states late summer or early fall.  In anticipation of this potential award, we are sending out this SAVE-THE-DATE to notify you of our plans for opening for applications.  Our goal is to open on or before August 7, 2017 for eligible projects occurring between September 30, 2017 and September 29, 2018. This is to be the only application period for the grant year for Financial Assistance Awards, so start thinking ahead about potential projects for which you would like to apply for assistance.


All Financial Assistance Award applications (Option #1) DUE BY: 5:00 p.m. MDT on Friday, August 25, 2017. This is to be the only application period for this option. Get your online portal login set up TODAY! (Login set-ups available Mondays-Fridays ONLY, minimum of 48 hours prior to application due date).


Two options to take advantage of STEP funds…

OPTION # 1  Financial Assistance Awards STEP Guidelines-Financial Assistance Award

  • Competitive awards to facilitate eligible international marketing campaigns of company’s choice
  • Awards range from $3,000 minimum up to $15,000 maximum, 35% cash match required
  • Multiple awards per company are possible, however, only up to the maximum award amount of $15,000 cumulative across all project proposals and based upon availability of funds
  • Pre-award costs allowed for eligible expenses that fall within the Federal Fiscal year
  • $140,000 is available for a minimum of 10, but up to 46 awards (dependent upon distribution of funds). Review and scoring process will be very competitive

      Eligible activities for Financial Assistance Awards include: 

  • Governor’s or Foreign Trade Mission
  • Foreign Market Sales Trips
  • Services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Website translation to a foreign language, search engine optimization, localization services
  • International Trade Shows

OPTION # 2 – Trade Show Pavilions – STEP Guidelines-Trade Show Participant

Idaho Department of Commerce (IDC) and Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) have chosen four International Trade Shows for Idaho Pavilions and one Director Led Trade Mission

STEP funds will pay for the cost of booth space and construction of the trade show pavilion, plus airfare and lodging stipends for one employee from each selected company. All coordination of the booth will be made by IDC/ISDA. Companies will submit competitive applications to be selected for participation.  4-8 companies will be selected for each pavilion and 8 companies for the mission.

Industry/Shows – Application Deadlines to be announced on a per project basis

  • Outdoor Recreation:  ISPO Munich – Munich, Germany – January 28-31, 2018
  • Aerospace:  Singapore Air Show – Ghangi Airport, Singapore – February 6-11, 2018
  • Arms and Ammunition:  IWA Outdoor Classics – Nuremberg, Germany – March 9-12, 2018
  • Aerospace:  Farnborough Air Show – London, UK – July 16-22, 2018
  • Director Led Trade Mission to Canada, Spring 2018

After reading guidelines for option #1 or option #2, click on the following links to learn more:

Export Readiness Assessment

Developing an Export Plan

STEP Application Best Practices

Fly America Checklist

Required forms to be submitted with application for option #1 and/or option #2:

Budget and RFF 2in1-STEP YR 6(option #1 only)

Small Business Concern Certification

Debarment and Suspension Certification

W-9 Form

All awards are contingent upon receipt of the 2017 award from the SBA.  Applications are accepted online at Idaho Commerce’s Grant Portal. Logins must be requested 48 hours prior to application due dates. To register for your online portal account and apply, contact STEP Grant Program Manager, Tina Salisbury at 208-287-3164 or by email:  

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Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration