Global NY State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

Next Section Continue


Empire State Development (ESD) is working in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to increase the number of small businesses that begin to export; increase the value of exports for small businesses that currently export; and increase the number of small businesses exploring significant new trade opportunities.

Next Section Continue

Allowable Uses of Program Funds

Approved STEP funds can assist New York State businesses with:

  • Participation in programmed foreign trade missions
  • Subscription to services provided by the Department of Commerce
  • Trade show exhibition (international and qualified domestic trade shows)
  • Participation in export training workshops
  • Qualified foreign market sales trips
  • Website Content/Foreign Language Translation
  • Development of International Marketing Campaign(s)
  • Compliance Testing
  • Consultancy Services
  • Export Credit Insurance Premium Reimbursement

* Speaking engagements at a conference is an ineligible activity

Next Section Continue


Eligible Companies

  1. A for-profit business headquartered and registered to do business in New York State with the New York State Department of State.
  2. Manufacture, assemble and/or distribute a product or provide an exportable service. If you are not the manufacturer of the product you must have the rights to export as an authorized distributor.
  3. The product(s) or service(s) must be export ready and already selling in the U.S. market and/or internationally.
  4. In business for at least one year ending on the date on which assistance is provided.
  5. Qualify as an “eligible small business concern” and meet SBA size standards.
  6. Have access to sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade.
  7. Have a product or service for export that contains at least 51% United States content (see calculation table within guidelines document).
  8. Not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for disbarment, declared ineligible and/or voluntarily excluded from participation by any federal department or agency.
  9. In good standing with all New York State government agencies. 
  10. Site visits and/or telephone interviews may be conducted to further determine a company’s eligibility. 

Ineligible Industries (include but are not limited to)

  1. Businesses acting as intermediaries for other companies
  2. Law firms
  3. Non-profit organizations
  4. Educational institutions
  5. Companies involved with cannabis
  6. Retail
  7. Companies that are recruiting foreign investment
Next Section Continue


The funding period for the STEP 11 program is September 30, 2023 – December 31, 2024.  Each company may receive a maximum combined award total of up to $10,000 per funding period. STEP awards are issued on a first-come, first-served basis until the program funds are expended.

Click here to download the guidelines.

Next Section Continue

Evaluation Process & Funding

ESD staff will review all applications and make a determination regarding the applicant's eligibility within 30 business days of receipt of the application. The grant is awarded in the form of a reimbursement. Reimbursement for expenses is limited to one company representative and is based on 60% of the total eligible costs. This program does not allow for reimbursement of retroactive trade activities that have already been completed. If changes occur to a company’s planned arrangements, failure to provide adequate notice to ESD officials of the changes may void any awarded funds.

Next Section Continue

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    Q: When should I submit an application?
A: You should submit your application as soon as possible and no less than 30 days prior to the anticipated activity start date. This program does not allow for reimbursement of retroactive trade activities that have already been completed. (Exceptions may be made for trade show booth deposits)

2.    Q: What is the amount of funding that is available to me?
A: Grants range from $2,000-$5,000 depending on the activity selected. You cannot receive more than $10,000 over the course of STEP funding period.

3.    Q: When should I expect to hear back on my application status?
A: Within 30 business days of receipt of the application. 

4.    Q: If I am approved to travel, are there restrictions on flights?
A: Yes, reimbursement is available for one round trip economy (coach) airfare, ticketed through a U.S. carrier; the airline must comply with the Fly America Act.

5.    Q: If I am approved to travel, are there limitations on lodging costs? 
A: Yes, the reimbursement rate cannot exceed the per diem lodging rate. Click here for international rates and here for domestic rates. One employee may be reimbursed for lodging and travel costs.
*Subject to change

Next Section Continue

How to Apply

The STEP 11 application is a fillable PDF that should be completed electronically and emailed to [email protected].

Click here to download the application.

Next Section Continue

Reimbursement and Required Reporting

Upon completion of an activity, a company will be required to submit all eligible expense receipts and proof of payment electronically. After review of a company’s expenses, reimbursement will typically take 6 weeks to process. A company must also complete a Project Impact Report for data collection purposes. A follow-up Project Impact Report is also required to be submitted to ensure Global NY is aware of each company’s latest statistics.

Next Section Continue

Additional Information

If you have any questions please contact us: (212) 803-2300 or [email protected].

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