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 Massachusetts State Trade Expansion Program (“STEP”). MOITI, through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”), will provide grants to eligible Massachusetts small businesses for the purpose of increasing export sales of their goods and services.

Find full details here. All applications must be received by the deadline of Monday, September 30, 2019 at 5 p.m.

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:

• Overseas trade show or conference exhibition and directly related expenses (e.g., booth space, shipping charges, carnets, attendance in conjunction with exhibiting, space to deliver technical sales seminars, etc.) (shipping costs capped at $2,000 per company);
• U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Key and other in-country services;
• Government-organized foreign trade missions with a business matchmaking element;
• Cost of compliance testing an existing product for entry into an export market ($3,000 cap per company);
• Design of export market-specific marketing media (including design and translation of brochures, targeted advertising in industry-appropriate media, etc. — does not include printing) ($3,000 cap per company);
• Localization of websites for target export markets (including translation of websites, technical localization, and search engine optimization for export markets) ($3,000 cap per company).

Small businesses engaged in STEP-supported export activities must be an export-ready U.S. company seeking to export goods or services of U.S. origin or have at least 51% U.S. content. STEP applicants should reference existing U.S. government regulatory guidance for determination of U.S. content.

Click here to download a sample copy of the STEP application questions.

For questions on the STEP application process, please contact the Massachusetts Export Center at 617-973-6610.