The STEP program helps Minnesota businesses that are looking to sell their wares outside of the country.
2/12/2019 11:44:01 AM
The Minnesota State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant program is looking to award funds to Minnesota businesses planning to grow their exports.
The STEP program provides financial and technical assistance to qualifying Minnesota small businesses with an active interest in exporting products or services to foreign markets. Participants may be first-time exporters or companies that are currently exporting but are interested in expanding into new international markets. The grant is operated by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
Small businesses can apply for $500 worth of export-training or up to $5,000 for approved export-development activities. These export activities can include participation in trade missions, exhibiting at trade shows or industry-specific events and many more. Too see a more comprehensive list of the approved activities go to the export-financing page on the DEED website.
To be eligible for financing, companies must fit the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) definition of a small business. This is based on annual sales or number of employees. Additionally, the business must have been in operation for at least one year, be profitable based on its U.S. operations, understand the costs associated with exporting and have a strategic plan for exporting (unless applying for an export-planning grant). Companies cannot apply for reimbursement for activities that have already taken place.
To apply, just complete the application packet found on the DEED website.