A STEP in the right direction.
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. STEP is funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is administered by Idaho Commerce. The goals of STEP 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 the following STEP-funded programs.
Financial Assistance Awards
The STEP Financial Assistance Award application window is now closed.
- Individual awards ranging from $2,000 – $10,000 are available for eligible activity occurring between August 19, 2019 – September 29, 2020.
- Only one application will be accepted per round. Multiple rounds are dependent upon the availability of funds.
- 35% cash match required. For every authorized $100 you spend you will be reimbursed $65.
- Reviewing and scoring processes are highly competitive.
Eligible activities for Financial Assistance Awards
- Governor’s or foreign trade mission
- Foreign market sales trips
- Services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce
- International trade shows
State-Led Industry Trade Shows
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 Idaho Commerce and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. Companies will submit competitive applications to be selected for participation. Between 4-8 companies will be selected for each pavilion. Application deadlines are on a per-project basis.
Upcoming Industry Trade Shows:
- Energy: Power-GEN, New Orleans, November 19-21, 2019
- Aerospace: Singapore Air Show, Singapore, February 11-14, 2020
- The application window for the Singapore Air Show is now open.
- Advanced Manufacturing: Hannover Messe, Hanover, Germany, April 1-5, 2020
State-Led Industry Trade Missions
STEP funds will pay a portion of trade mission costs such as contractors and meeting space. All coordination of the booth will be made by Idaho Commerce. Companies will submit competitive applications to be selected for participation. Six companies will be selected for each of the trade missions.
- Medical Equipment Trade Mission to the UAE (March 2020)
- Heavy Equipment Trade Mission to Latin America (TBD)
STEP guidelines and application deadlines for state-led industry trade missions will be available at a later date.
After reviewing the above STEP funding guidelines, use the following links to learn more about the STEP program.
- 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
Applying for a STEP Grant
The following required forms must be submitted with application. Applications are accepted online at the Idaho Commerce Grant Portal. Logins must be requested 48 hours prior to application due dates.
To register for your online portal account and apply for a STEP Grant, contact Tina Salisbury at +1-208-287-3164 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Budget and RFF 2in1-STEP YR 7 (Financial Assistance Awards only)
- Self-Representation as Eligible Small Business
- Debarment and Suspension Certification
- W-9 Form