Global Delaware Export Advisor Beth Pomper answers questions about using STEP grants to finance business activity abroad
Q: What exactly is a STEP grant?
A: A STEP grant is funding you receive from the State of Delaware and the Small Business Administration to help finance your export activity. The funds reimburse you for up to 50 percent of all pre-approved, eligible export marketing expenses, up to a maximum of $5,000 per fiscal year per company.
Q: Can anyone get a STEP grant?
A: STEP grants are for small and medium sized Delaware companies that are interested in expanding their business internationally. They are a great way to help finance your international expansion activity.
Q: I want to travel to South America to talk to potential distributors for my product there. Can I use a STEP grant for business trips like that?
A: Absolutely! Business travel is critical for exploring international opportunities for your business, and many companies have helped finance trips abroad with STEP grants.
Q: What other activities can I use a STEP grant for?
A: There are so many international business expenses that you can use the grant for! STEP grants can be used to reimburse you for expenses related to trade shows, client visits, travel, translations and market research.
For example, you can exhibit at a biotech trade show in Germany; hire Global Delaware’s foreign trade reps to help you plan your export strategy; get your company’s marketing materials and website translated into Chinese; travel overseas to meet with prospective distributors; and much, much more!
If you aren’t sure whether your activity is eligible for a STEP grant, just email us and we’ll help you figure it out. Check out the full list of allowable costs on our website at de.gov/funding.
Q: What do I have to do to get a STEP grant?
A: The application process is easy. Just complete and submit the online application. We’ll review it to make sure that your proposed activity is eligible for a grant, and we’ll let you know quickly if been pre-approved. After you complete the activity—travel, marketing materials, translations etc.—submit your receipts and we will reimburse you for 50 percent of the expense.
We’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure the process goes smoothly.
Q: When should I apply?
A: You should apply right now! The deadline for Delaware businesses to spend their grant award is September 29, 2016, and your participation helps ensure we can continue to make these grants available in the future.
Again, we are here to help. If you have any questions or want to learn more, please email me at Beth.Pomper@delaware.gov. I can’t wait to help you with your plans to do business abroad!
Never miss an update: subscribe to our newsletter