State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)
STEP provides financial awards to state and territory governments to assist small businesses with export development. To date, over $200 million has been awarded to assist in growing the volume and value of small business exports.
Information for small businesses
The STEP grant program has helped thousands of small businesses obtain grants and find customers in the international marketplace since 2011. Through awards to U.S. states and territories, STEP helps small businesses overcome obstacles to exporting by providing grants to cover costs associated with entering and expanding into international markets.
STEP financial support helps U.S. small businesses:
- Learn to export
- Participate in foreign trade missions
- Design international marketing products and campaigns
- Support website globalization and e-commerce capabilities
- Pay for subscriptions to services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce and other federal agencies
- Participate in export trade show exhibits and training workshops
- Cover AI-related expenses in support of export-related activities
Check out the SBA Grants for Global Expansion webinar to learn more about the STEP program.
Ready to apply? Contact your local state or territory to find out how they can help you start or expand your business to reach global customers with the help of a STEP grant.
Information for state entities
STEP 11 Fiscal Year 2023 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
SBA is now accepting proposals for funding from eligible state entities that want to provide assistance and guidance to small businesses interested in exporting. Applications must be received by May 19, 2023. Please see the funding opportunity listing on grants.gov for more details.
STEP provides financial awards to state and territory governments to assist small businesses with export development. Find information on how eligible state entities can apply for STEP awards to be used to increase small business exporters and their sales in their state:
- STEP 11 Questions and Answers
- CFR: Third-party in-kind contributions
- CFR: Cost sharing or matching
- STEP annual reports
- STEP awardee Terms and Conditions
STEP awards are managed and provided at the local level by state government organizations. The program is managed at the national level by SBA’s Office of International Trade.