The DC STEP Program enables qualified export-ready businesses to receive reimbursements for eligible international marketing costs. The program is funded in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant, a three-year pilot program launched by the President's Small Business Jobs Act.
Business eligibility for STEP funding
To be eligible for STEP funding through ExportDC, your business must:
- Have a principal office and business registration in the District of Columbia for at least six months prior to STEP Program approval;
- Be in good standing with the DC Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) and submit a Clean Hands Self-Certification Form;
- Submit a STEP program application signed by a corporate officer and indicating that the eligibility criteria will be met;
- Have an exportable product or service at the time of application;
- Meet the SBA small business size standard(s) for the firm's industry classification;
- Have been in business for at least one year preceding the date of STEP grant assistance;
- Operating profitably, based on operations in the United States from the firm's most recently completed fiscal year;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the costs associated with exporting and doing business with foreign purchasers;
- Have in effect a strategic plan for exporting;
- Have export products that contain a majority of U.S. content (51 percent or higher);
- Agree to abide by the Fly America Act when utilizing STEP funds for air travel expenses;
- Agree to not knowingly enter into any lower tier covered transaction with a person in the System for Award Management (SAM).
- Be currently exporting, and/or have the capacity to export to new international markets; and
- Sell a product and/or service that is export ready.
Allowable STEP expenditures
Allowable step expenditures include:
- Participation in Small Business Trade Missions and International Conferences;
- International or domestic trade show participation/booth fees;
- Export Training;
- Subscription to U.S. Department of Commerce trade and market assessment services including foreign market partner search, Gold Key Services, and International Company Profiles;
- Website/material translation services; and,
- We encourage applicants to propose other export marketing-related activities that they believe will grow their export potential.
Additional information on ExportDC's STEP Grant Funding
Please find our STEP grant documents (phase one) below or contact us at [email protected].