Massachusetts State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant Program 2015
Readiness Assessment and Application
The Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (“MOITI”), in collaboration with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network (“MSBDC”) and the Massachusetts Export Center, is pleased to announce the 2015 Massachusetts State Trade and Export Promotion Grant Program (“STEP Program”). MOITI, through a grant from the United States Small Business Administration (“SBA”), will provide grants to eligible Massachusetts small businesses for the purpose of increasing export sales of their goods and services in the 2016 federal fiscal year.
The STEP Program is intended to help offset international business development and related marketing costs for small businesses. Grant proceeds may be used for specific international business development and marketing costs, including but not limited to: (1) foreign trade show and conference participation; (2) MOITI and/or U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) sponsored trade missions; (3) use of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Gold Key service and other DOC services; (4) foreign business-to-business matchmaking services; (5) translation and product localization-related services, including compliance with foreign regulatory requirements; and, (6) targeted advertising in overseas industry trade publications. Grant proceeds will not cover certain activities, including but not limited to: routine business operation and infrastructure-related expenses, attendance at domestic trade shows and conferences, travel expenses, and staffing related costs.
In October 2015, this webpage will be updated to include an export readiness assessment & application (“Application”) for eligible small businesses to apply to become a STEP grant client. MOITI and MEC shall then review all applications. MOITI will notify eligible applicants in writing of entry into the STEP Consultation Period. During the STEP Consultation Period, MOITI and MEC will consult with the applicant and review the applicant’s international business marketing plan and the applicant’s specific request for reimbursement. In awarding grants, MOITI and MEC will consider the following: likelihood that the project/initiative will lead to new or increased export sales of goods and services; likelihood that the project/initiative will lead to job creation in Massachusetts; and, the applicant’s demonstrated commitment to increasing export sales of its good or services.
Massachusetts was awarded $500,000 by the Small Business Administration for the STEP Grant Program. To learn more about the STEP program in other states, visit the SBA’s STEP Program webpage.
To qualify for STEP program funding, companies or firms must be profitable and meet the U.S. Small Business Administration definition of small business as provided in 13 C.F.R. Part 121.
For further information on SBA’s definition of a small business please visit: https://www.sba.gov/content/am-i-small-business-concern
Contact information for the program will be provided in late September 2015.