Idaho’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant


STEP YEAR: Sept. 30, 2018 – Sept. 29, 2020

The State of Idaho has received a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant of $600,000 for program years September 30, 2018 – September 29, 2020. The STEP program is funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is administered by the Idaho Department of Commerce. This is the seventh award Idaho has received to make funds available to qualifying Idaho companies for international marketing campaigns to export their products. Program objectives are to increase the number of small businesses that export, increase the value of exports and increase the number of small businesses exploring significant new trade opportunities. Participants must meet SBA eligibility requirements to participate in STEP funded programs.


Three options to take advantage of STEP funds…


OPTION # 1  Financial Assistance Awards STEP Y7 Guidelines – Financial Assistance Award – CLOSED

Note: We anticipate opening for a second round of applications at some point in 2019. More details will be released at a later date.  
    • Individual awards ranging from $2,000 minimum up to $10,000 maximum are available for your own eligible activity falling between September 30, 2018, and September 29, 2020
    • Only 1 award allowed per application window, multiple rounds dependent upon the availability of funds.
    • 35% cash match required (For every authorized $1.00 you spend you will be reimbursed $0.65)
      • MINIMUM AWARD = $2,000
        • Allowable expenditures of $3,077, you will be reimbursed $2,000
          • $3,077 x 65% = $2,000
        • MAXIMUM AWARD = $10,000
          • Allowable expenditures of $15,385, you will be reimbursed $10,000
            • $15,385 x 65% = $10,000
    • 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
    • International Trade Shows

OPTION # 2 – State-Led Industry Trade Shows – STEP Y7 Guidelines-Trade Show Participant

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.

Industries/Shows – Application Deadlines are on a per project basis as follows:

OPTION # 3 – STEP Guidelines for Industry Trade Mission Participant will be available at a later date

State-Led Industry Trade Missions – Application Deadlines to be announced on a per-project basis

STEP funds will pay a portion of mission costs such as contractors, and meeting space. All coordination of the booth will be made by IDC. Companies will submit competitive applications to be selected for participation.  6 companies will be selected for each of the trade missions.

  • Medical Equipment Trade Mission to the UAE – Early March 2020
    • Application Window is TBD

After reading guidelines for any option, click on the following links to learn more:

STEP Best Practices Webinar (Webinar slides with notes available here)

Export Readiness Assessment

Developing an Export Plan

Fly America Checklist

Buy American – U.S. Content Calculation

Bonus Criteria Definitions

Required forms to be submitted with application. Final forms will be found in the online portal. 

Budget and RFF 2in1-STEP YR 7 (option #1 only)

Self-Representation as Eligible Small Business

Debarment and Suspension Certification

W-9 Form


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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