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, approved Massachusetts small businesses for the purpose of increasing export sales of their goods and services.
Eligible businesses may apply for grants ranging from a minimum of $6,000 to a maximum of $15,000 per business to reimburse for costs associated with pre-approved projects, activities or services undertaken during the period October 1, 2023 to March 31, 2025. Each grant recipient will be required to provide a match to cover at least a portion of the total approved cost for any project, activity or service (the “Match”). New-to-export firms have a minimum of 10% match requirement and all other firms have a minimum of 20% match requirement.
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.)
- U.S. Department of Commerce international business development services (e.g., Gold Key Service, International Partner Search with Virtual Introductions, Single Company Promotion, International Company Profile, trade missions and other export matchmaking services, etc.)
- Cost of compliance testing an existing product for entry into an export market
- Design of export market-specific marketing media (including design and translation of brochures, targeted advertising in industry-appropriate media, etc. – does NOT include printing)
- Localization of websites for target export markets (including translation of websites, technical localization, and search engine optimization for export markets)
- Research tool subscription for targeted export market research
- International intellectual property protection filing fees with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
- Export credit insurance policy fees through the Export-Import Bank of the United States
The application period for the Massachusetts STEP Grant Program is now open!
The STEP Grant application deadline is Saturday, September 30 at 5:00 p.m.
There is no advantage for early applicants. We encourage you to participate on the September 20th webinar and compile a thoughtful, strategic application for the greatest chance of approval.
Click here to contact the Massachusetts Export Center with questions.
Wednesday, September 20 | 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Massachusetts Export Center will offer a free webinar about the Massachusetts STEP program. The webinar will discuss the parameters of the Massachusetts STEP Grant and walk participants through the application process. The webinar will also provide tips on assessing export readiness and planning international marketing activities in support of the STEP application.
Click here for further details and webinar registration.