Apply for a STEP Grant to Grow Your Business and Brand Internationally
The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant offers eligible Delaware businesses assistance to help launch or expand export activity. Grant funds can be used to reimburse Delaware businesses for up to 50 percent of all pre-approved, eligible, export marketing expenses, up to a maximum of $7,000 per fiscal year, per company. Delaware companies can receive funding a maximum of three times, per country market, in a five-year period. For more information, contact the Export Delaware Team.
Delaware Small Businesses who need financial assistance expanding into new international markets are encouraged to apply for a STEP Grant.
Apply: Apply by completing a STEP Grant Application. List the amount of funds you are requesting on your application. Note the maximum grant award amount you may be eligible for is $7,000. Apply here.
Award: If your business meets the SBA STEP Grant requirements, and there are funds available, you will be awarded a STEP Grant to move forward on the project. All expenses must be pre-approved by Export Delaware, so be sure not to incur any expenses before you receive the final award from our office.
Project Execution and Payment: Go about your international business and keep a good record of your expenses along the way. Note what expenses are allowable and unallowable per the SBA STEP Grant Guidelines below.
Reimbursement: Once the project/trip is complete, you can submit your reimbursement request to Export Delaware per the STEP Grant guidelines. You will be reimbursed 50% of the costs associated with your project, as long as they meet the requirements. For example, if the project costs $10,000, and you were awarded $7,000 in STEP grant funds, you may submit a reimbursement request for $5,000 (50% of the cost).
Report Sales: You will be required to report on any new sales achieved as a result of the project/trip up to 18 months after your STEP grant award.
To qualify for STEP Grant funds, your business must meet the size requirements of the SBA (listed here), and the goods or services your organization that you will promote on this trip must be of US origin OR have at least 51% US content.
In addition, you must meet the following requirements:
Operate in Delaware at a Delaware street address
Be in business longer than one year
Have an export plan
Be determined export-ready by Export Delaware
“Funds were provided to visit our two distributors in China and have meetings at key accounts. This account will help generate a large percentage of sales over the next several years.” – Stephanie Rosenberg, Advanced Materials Tech
“This program helps us meet existing, and develop new, distribution channels, for our products. The two largest, medical trade shows in the world were part of our itineraries. This provided a great opportunity to gain market intelligence. The STEP grant, and all the other excellent support we receive from Export Delaware, has been an invaluable aid to our expansion overseas.” – Andy Wood, LiteCure
“Export Delaware and the SBA are very helpful to small businesses who want to export. They have a great team, who are ready to help.” – Naresh Batta, Batta Environmental