Global NY State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides STEP financial awards to state governments to assist their small businesses with export development. STEP’s objective is to increase the overall number of U.S. small business exporters and to increase their export sales.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Empire State Development Global NY offer STEP funds to qualifying small and medium-sized NYS businesses.

Approved STEP funds assist New York State small businesses with:

  • Participation in foreign trade missions
  • Foreign market sales trips (i.e. EMAS Plus and Gold Key trips) and travel within the U.S. to participate in U.S. Department of Commerce International Buyer Program (IBP) trade shows
  • Subscription services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Foreign translation services and international marketing campaigns
  • Exhibiting at an international trade show and qualified domestic trade shows
  • International trade workshops that align with program objectives
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Small businesses must be in business for at least 1 year, meet SBA size standards, have access to sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade, must have a product or service for export and meet the standards and mission of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).


Businesses acting as intermediaries for other companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, retail and companies that are recruiting foreign investment.

ESD Global NY issues STEP awards to New York State–based small businesses on a first-come, first-served basis until the program funds are expended. All approved activities must be completed by September 29, 2018. Special consideration will be given to companies that are certified MWBE firms and to businesses that are classified among New York State's manufacturing strategic industries, including but not limited to: Aerospace, Agriculture, Beverages & Processed Foods, Biotech & Life Sciences, Cleantech & Renewable Energy, Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology, among others. There is a maximum limit of two different types of event or activity awards per small business, provided that program funds are available.

Site visits and/or telephone interviews will be conducted to further determine a company's eligibility. 

How to Apply

Complete the fillable PDF application electronically and email it to upon completion.

For more information regarding the Global NY State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), call (212) 803-2300 or email


Additional Information

After completing an activity you are required to fill out a Project Impact Report.

Funded in part through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration.