Idaho’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant

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

The State of Idaho has received a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant of $343,240 for federal fiscal year 2017. 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 sixth 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 business that begin to export and the value of exports for small businesses currently exporting.


Two options to take advantage of STEP funds…

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

OPTION # 1 is now CLOSED: All Financial Assistance Award applications (Option #1) were due by: 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) on Friday, August 25, 2017. This will be the only application period for this option. Plan ahead for next year and note the following details 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
  • $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 are on a per project basis as follows:

  • Trade Mission to Canada, October 1-4 2018
    • STEP Application window to be announced
  • Outdoor Recreation:  ISPO Munich – Munich, Germany – January 28-31, 2018
    • Application Window is now closed
  • Aerospace:  Singapore Air ShowGhangi Airport, Singapore – February 6-11, 2018
    • Application Window is now closed
  • Aerospace:  Farnborough Air Show – London, UK – July 16-22, 2018
  • Arms and Ammunition:  IWA Outdoor Classics – Nuremberg, Germany – March 9-12, 2018
    • Application Window is now closed

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


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 grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration