Idaho’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP GRANT)

STEP YEAR: Sept. 30, 2017 – Sept. 29, 2018

COMING SOON: We anticipate the next round of STEP Grant funding for September 30, 2017 – September 29, 2018 projects will be awarded by the SBA this fall. With anticipation of this potential award, please watch for future announcements notifying you of our plans for opening for applications. (Subscribe to our newsletter to receive announcements via email: click here to subscribe.)

STEP YEAR: Sept. 30, 2016 – Sept. 29, 2017

The State of Idaho has received a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant of $388,500 for federal fiscal year 2016. The STEP program is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is administered by the Idaho Department of Commerce. This is the fifth award Idaho has received to make funds available to qualifying Idaho companies to export products. Program objectives are to increase both the number of small businesses that begin to export and the value of exports for small businesses currently exporting.

Two options to take advantage of STEP funds:


Financial Assistance Awards (Applications are now CLOSED)

All Financial Assistance Award applications were DUE BY: 5:00 p.m. MDT on Thursday, September 15, 2016. This was to be the only application period for this option.

  • 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
  • Maximum of 40 awards available; 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
  • Trade Shows – International or Domestic (supported/selected for the U.S. Department of Commerce International Buyer Program, see website)

Option #1 Guidelines for Financial Assistance Awards


Idaho Department of Commerce (IDC) and Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) have chosen five International Trade Shows for Idaho Pavilions (Applications are now CLOSED)

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 and travel arrangements will be made by IDC/ISDA. Companies will submit competitive applications to be selected for participation, 4-6 companies will be selected for each pavilion.


  • Outdoor Recreation:  ISPO Munich – Munich, Germany – February 5-8, 2017
  • Arms and Ammunition:  IWA Outdoor Classics – Nuremberg, Germany – March 3-6, 2017
  • Technology:  CeBIT – Hannover, Germany – March 20-24, 2017
    CLOSED (APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 14, 2016)
  • Pet Products:  ZooMark – Bologna, Italy – May 11-14, 2017
    CLOSED (APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 14, 2016)
  • Aerospace:  Paris Air Show – Paris, France – June 19-25, 2017

Option #2 Guidelines for Industry Trade Show Participants

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

Export Readiness Assessment

Developing an Export Plan-1

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

Budget and Request for Funds 2 in 1  (option #1 only)

Small Business Concern Certification

Debarment and Suspension

W-9 Form

All 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