STEP Grant 2018-04-26T10:58:18+00:00

State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP) Grant

Funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the World Trade Center Utah State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) seeks to help Utah businesses enter and expand into dynamic global markets. This initiative aims to increase the number of small businesses (eligible small business concerns) exporting in Utah, increase revenues and sales of Utah-made goods and services and increase Utah’s GDP through international trade.

The STEP grant provides awards to eligible small business located in Utah to help offset the cost of eligible expenses associated with export development activities. Awards are competitive and will be based upon availability of funds.

The Utah STEP Grant is a cost reimbursement grant. Recipients may receive up to $15,000 for various eligible international business activities. All grant awards require 25 percent cash match by the grant recipient.

Some activities adhere to additional guidelines and parameters.

Application Period

The application window is now closed. For questions, contact WTC Utah at grants@wtcutah.com.


Small Utah businesses (commonly called eligible small business concerns) a product or qualifying service that is selling successfully are encouraged to apply for a State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP) Grant. This includes small businesses in Utah that have never exported their product or export on a limited basis.

Eligible Companies

  1. Meet SBA size standards (view here)
  2. Is not barred from federal funds
  3. Is an eligible small business
  4. Has been in business for more than one year
  5. Has sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade
  6. Is headquartered in Utah
  7. Is a for-profit company
  8. Recommended 3 or more full-time employees
  9. Has a finished product or qualifying service with at least 51% U.S. content
  10. Has an export plan

Ineligible Companies 

  1. Consulting agencies
  2. Law firms
  3. Real estate developers
  4. Retail businesses
  5. Hospitality or tourism operators
  6. Distributors representing clients
  7. Educational institutions or for-profit schools recruiting students
  8. Non-profit organizations
  9. Companies, organizations or individuals recruiting foreign direct investment
  10. Multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing companies

Eligible Expenses

Expenses eligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to:

  • Airfare (Fly America provisions apply)
  • Services through the U.S. Department of Commerce/U.S. Commercial Services: International Partner Search, Gold Key, Platinum Key, etc. (Click here for more information)
  • Business-to-business meetings coordinated by qualifying providers
  • Market analysis by qualifying providers
  • Related services offered by the U.S. Commercial Service and World Trade Center Utah
  • Interpretation/translation services
  • Website and marketing material translation such as translation into a foreign language, search engine optimization, location services
  • Trade mission participation fee
  • Participation in international trade training workshops/education
  • Qualifying expenses related to exhibiting at international trade shows, include but are not limited to:
    • Printing (signage, brochures, business cards)
    • Demonstration supplies
    • Shipping fees for booth/product display
    • Shipping fees for sample products
  • Ground transportation costs within the hosting locale
  • Qualifying hotel and lodging expenses
  • Meals & Incidental Expenses (M & IE). Meals and incidental expenses to be reimbursed at the Maximum M&IE Rate as set by the U.S Department of State. Travel days are reimbursed at 75% of the allowed rate.

Ineligible Expenses

Expense categories ineligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to:

  • Airline Point Redemption. Do not use airline points to pay for your travel as they are NOT reimbursable. You may use points to upgrade to business or first class. Just ensure that it shows clearly on the receipt
  • Cell phones and cell phone charges
  • Travel expenses for importers/distributors or in-market company representatives
  • Compensation, wages or salaries
  • Meals and beverages (except for travel per diem)
  • Tips of any kind
  • Costs of product research, development or alteration of existing products
  • Expenses incurred outside of the STEP grant period
  • Passport or visa fees
  • Expenses related to entertaining current or prospective clients or government officials
  • Federal regulations set by the U.S. Department of the Treasury prohibit funding of activities in/with sanctioned and/or embargoed countries.

Fill out the form below to receive additional information about STEP funding or to be contacted by a member of WTC Utah for STEP grant assistance.


Nicole Sherwood
(801) 599-9185