Global NY State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

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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.

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In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), grants are being offered to qualifying small and medium-sized business to increase the number of businesses entering the export market, and to increase the value of exports for businesses that currently export.

    Allowable Uses of Program Funds

    Allowable Uses of Program Funds

    1. Approved STEP funds can assist New York State businesses with:
    2. Participation in programed foreign trade missions
    3. Subscription to services provided by the Department of Commerce
    4. Payment of website fees, including translation to foreign languages, localization for foreign markets and search engine optimization
    5. Design of international marketing media
    6. Trade show exhibition (international and qualified domestic trade shows)
    7. Participation in export training workshops
    8. Qualified foreign market sales trips
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    Site visits and/or telephone interviews will be conducted to further determine a company’s eligibility.

    Eligible Companies

    • New York State company
    • Be in business for at least 1 year
    • Meet SBA size standards
    • Have access to sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade
    • Have a product or service for export that consists of at least 51% United States content
    • Meet the standards and mission of STEP


    Ineligible Companies

    • Businesses acting as intermediaries for other companies
    • Law firms
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Educational institutions
    • Retail
    • Companies that are recruiting foreign investment
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    The two-year funding period for the Global NY STEP Grant Program will begin on September 30, 2018 and conclude on September 29, 2020. Each company may apply for a maximum of three unique STEP awards for this funding period, and the combined award total will be capped at $13,000 per client.  STEP awards are issued on a first-come, first-served basis until the program funds are expended. A company may not select the same trade show twice within one funding period.

    Evaluation Process and 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 Global NY STEP grant is awarded in the form of a reimbursement. This program does not allow for reimbursement of retroactive trade activities that have already been completed.

    Click here to download the STEP guidelines.

    How to Apply

    Complete the fillable PDF application electronically and email it to

    Click here to download the application form.

    Post-Trade Event
    After review of a company’s expenses, reimbursement will typically take 6 weeks. Upon completion of a trade event each company must complete and submit a STEP Project Impact Report.

    Click here to download the STEP Project Impact Report.

    Additional Information

    If you have any questions please contact us: (212) 803-2300 or

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