A STEP in the right direction.

The State of Idaho has State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant funds for projects occurring through September 29, 2022. 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.


 

Applying for a STEP Grant

STEP 1: Determine Eligibility

  • Use the STEP U.S. Content Definition/Formula
  • Find your business’ NAICS code
  • Use the SBA Business Size Standards Tool
    • Affiliates: You must include the employees or receipts of all affiliates when determining the size of a business. Affiliation with another business is based on the power to control, whether exercised or not. The power to control exists when an external party has 50 percent or more ownership. It may also exist with considerably less than 50 percent ownership by contractual arrangement or when one or more parties own a large share compared to other parties. Check the SBA’s compliance guide for size and affiliation for more detailed information.
    • Annual receipts: This is the “total income” (or “gross income”) plus the “cost of goods sold.” These numbers can normally be found on the business’s IRS tax return forms. Receipts are averaged over a business’s latest three complete fiscal years or (except in the Business Loan and Disaster Loan Programs) five complete fiscal years to determine the average annual receipts. If a business hasn’t been in business for five years, multiply its average weekly revenue by 52 to determine its average annual receipts. The SBA calculates annual receipts in accordance with 13 CFR 121.104.
    • Employee calculation: This is the average number of people employed for each pay period over the business’s latest 12 calendar months. Any person on the payroll must be included as one employee regardless of hours worked or temporary status. The number of employees of a concern in business less than 12 months is the average for each pay period that it has been in business. The SBA calculates number of employees in accordance with 13 CFR 121.106.
STEP 2: Learn

  • STEP Best Practices Webinar (webinar slides with notes available here)
  • Review program guidelines
    • You can review program guidelines under each opportunity below.
STEP 3: Evaluate

STEP 4: Register and Apply

  • Register for your online portal account to apply for a STEP Grant, contact Tina Salisbury at +1-208-287-3164 or tina.salisbury@commerce.idaho.gov. Logins must be requested 48 hours prior to application due dates. If your company has previously applied for any grants administered by Idaho Commerce, you are already set up in the system and will use that login to apply.
  • Request a copy of the application questions that will be found in the online portal system once it opens. This way you can get a bit of a head start.
  • Assistance determining eligibility under SBA requirements.
  • Get introduced to your industry’s International Trade Specialist at Idaho Commerce or the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. They are here to help you and can be a valuable resource during the application process, including tips before you upload your submission (time permitting).
  • The following required forms must be submitted with application. Applications are only accepted online at the Idaho Commerce Grant Portal.

     


Idaho Online Global Program

The Idaho Online Global Program application window is August 2, 2021 – August 23, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. MT.

REVIEW COMPLETE PROGRAM GUIDELINES

Overview

  • Individual awards of $9,000 are available for eligible activity occurring between September 30, 2021 – September 29, 2022.
  • Only one application will be accepted per round. Multiple rounds are dependent upon the availability of funds.
  • 25% cash match required. For every authorized $100 you spend you will be reimbursed $75.
  • Reviewing and scoring processes are highly competitive.
  • Watch our overview of the program here. 

Eligible activities for Online Global Program

  • Design and development of website, with an international focus
  • Oversight and maintenance and monitoring fees for search engine optimization
  • Online market listing fees
  • E-commerce platform fees, including hosting and/or maintenance fees
  • Expenses to set up websites to accept international payments

Financial Assistance Awards

The Financial Assistance Award application window is August 2, 2021 – August 23, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. MT.

REVIEW COMPLETE PROGRAM GUIDELINES

Overview

  • Individual awards ranging from $2,000 – $9,000 are available for eligible activity occurring between September 30, 2021 – September 29, 2022.
  • Only one application will be accepted per round. Multiple rounds are dependent upon the availability of funds.
  • 25% cash match required. For every authorized $100 you spend you will be reimbursed $75.
  • Reviewing and scoring processes are highly competitive.
  • Watch the STEP Best Practices Webinar (webinar slides with notes available here).

Eligible activities for Financial Assistance Awards

  • Foreign market sales trips
  • Governor’s or foreign trade mission
  • Trade Show; International or Domestic*
  • Services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce

*see guidelines for additional details/requirements


Kallman Digital Showcase

The application period for the Kallman Digital Showcase is open now, only 1 spot is remaining, apply now.

REVIEW COMPLETE PROGRAM GUIDELINES

Overview

  • Idaho Commerce, in partnership with Kallman Worldwide, is providing a new virtual opportunity for small businesses in Idaho to exhibit globally with the Kallman USA Digital Showcase.
  • The Digital Showcase allows for participation for one-year in an online platform for U.S. exporters and their international business partners to participate in overseas trade shows virtually. The program will provide U.S. exporters a cost-efficient way to “test the market” and gain new product and company exposure anywhere in the world.
  • A limited number of grants are available to eligible companies valued at $2,500 per award. If a company is deemed ineligible under STEP Grant requirements, they are still allowed to work directly with Kallman, at their own expense, to participate in this program.
  • Company must participate in at least one (1) Digital Showcase event during the performance period, if they do not, application will be deemed ineligible (9/30/20-9/29/21).
  • Application will remain open until all spots are filled. We recommend applying as early as possible. Learn more.

State-Led Industry Trade Shows

REVIEW COMPLETE PROGRAM GUIDELINES

Overview

  • STEP funds will pay for the cost of booth space and construction of the trade show pavilion. Stipends may also be available on select shows for eligible expenses (i.e., shipping costs or travel for one employee ). All coordination of the booth will be made by IDC. Companies will submit competitive applications to be selected for participation. Generally, 4-8 companies will be selected for each pavilion.
  • Trade Shows:
    • MSPO – Kielce, Poland – September 7 – 10 2021
      • Application window open, only one spot remains, apply now!
    • MEDICAL TAIWAN – Taipei, Taiwan – October 14 – 16, 2021
      • Application window: August 2, 2021 – August 23, 2021
    • Bio Asia – Taipei, Taiwan – November 4 – 7, 2021
      • Application window: August 2, 2021 – August 23, 2021
    • ISPO Beijing – Beijing, China – December 28 – 30, 2021
      • Application window: August 2, 2021 – August 23, 2021
    • Mexican Healthy Products Summit – Puerto Vallarta, MX – January 27 – 29, 2022
      • Application window: August 2, 2021 – August 23, 2021