State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)    
DEADLINE: Closed all funding for the 2018/2019 year has been obligated. 

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The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) received a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. TDA will administer the STEP program through partnerships that include the Office of the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism Division and the U.S. Department of Commerce. No other federal funds will be matched against this award.

The program’s objectives are to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and to increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting. The STEP program will take the necessary steps to create or expand their export capacity and provide financial assistance along the way to help them achieve success.

Texas’ STEP program will encompass recruitment, training and planning, and execution of export trade activities; including trade show involvement and assist with small business export development.

Texas-based small businesses that: 1) meets SBA “Eligible Small Business Concern” size guidelines; 2) is not debarred from federal funding; 3) has a product/service manufactured, produced, processed or value-added in Texas; 4) has been in business for at least one year at the time of application; and 5) has demonstrated understanding of the costs associated with exporting.

STEP clients that have a current 2016, open grant may not receive a new award during this cycle. If your 2016 grant is closed you are eligible to apply. 

What STEP Offers:   

To incentivize companies to enter new international markets and provide the customized assistance needed, TDA will provide post-completion reimbursement of expenditures to eligible businesses for approved export activities which include the following:

 Export Stipends (Stipends are available for a 75% of the activity unless a maximum is identified below.)
* U.S. Commercial Services Programs (Gold Key Matching, International Partner Search, Initial Market Check, International Company Profile or Business Facilitation Service)
* Compliance testing for an existing product for entry into an export market (reimbursement capped at $2,000)
* Design of marketing media for foreign audience
* Export counseling/training programs
* Fees for shipping sample products (reimbursement capped at $2,000)
* Non-state coordinated participation in trade missions, trade shows or sales trips (eligible costs include registration fees, booth space, foreign language translation, airfare , ground transportation and lodging expenses)
* Subscription to Export Research tool (reimbursement capped at $1,000)
* Website translation, search engine optimization, localization services (reimbursement capped at $3,000)
Domestics IBP (International Buyer Program) shows, or shows that have a significant amount of foreign participation.
Discover Global Market events
State sponsored trade show participation (Turn-key exhibit space at the trade show and interpreters. Applicant will be responsible for foreign travel expenses. 
Texas Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism Sponsored
For more information visit: click on the blue hyperlink below or https://businessintexas.com/about/events

Funded in part through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

STEP Performance Report form
STEP - Project Managers

Sean Hilbe
Grant Coordinator
(512) 463-6616

Kat Neilson
Grant Specialist
(512) 463-6695

Angelica Soriano
Grant Specialist
(512) 463-4406

STEP - Administration

Mindy Fryer
STEP Project Director