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2018-20 STEP Financial Assistance Award - New Hampshire Export Promotion Grant Program

Grants to New Hampshire Small and Medium-Size
Businesses to Prepare for Entry into International Markets

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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New Hampshire Office of International Commerce (OIC)

Deadline Date:

02/01/19 3:00 PM EST


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Grants of up to $5,000 to New Hampshire small and medium-sized for-profit companies to defray costs associated with expanding international business opportunities. Funding is intended to support participation at trade shows and trade missions, development of websites and international marketing materials, international market research, and exporting and marketing consultant services.

The Export Promotion Financial Assistance Award Program is funded through a grant award from the Small Business Administration (SBA) State Trade Expansion Promotion (STEP) grant. The STEP program awards grants to States to help small businesses prepare for new international markets, comply with trade regulations, access export financing, and participate in trade missions. These grants allow for each participant to prepare a customized international grant application which meets their business objectives.

The New Hampshire Export Promotion program, through the Office of International Commerce (OIC), is designed to enhance the capability of small to mid-sized New Hampshire companies to increase export sales. The Program is a valuable tool available to qualifying companies seeking financial assistance and foreign market entry support. Funding will provide matching funds to qualified New Hampshire businesses to offset a portion of the qualifying expenses associated with export promotion activities.

The award program is designed to provide flexibility and encourage innovative use of funds to meet the specific international needs of the New Hampshire exporter. Qualifying activities include:

- Overseas trade mission participation (cannot be used in conjunction with a STEP funded trade mission)
- Overseas trade show participation (cannot be used in conjunction with a STEP funded trade show)
- Domestic trade show participation (must have significant international focus). (For a complete and updated list of SBA-approved domestic shows, see
(Note: Participation in any trade show must include either purchasing a booth space or conference registration badge. Attending or walking a show is not a qualifying activity.)
- Foreign market sales trip
- Subscription to US Department of Commerce services
- Independent exporting and international marketing consultant assistance
- Export and/or compliance training workshops for two employees
- Product certification which impacts the ability to sell internationally (CE MARK, CSA, ISO, REACH, CITRA, etc.)
- International marketing media design (brochure, website, posters, flyers, etc.)
- Website, brochure, product labeling translation and customization for international markets
- Any other export promotion related activities, subject to approval

Qualifying Expense Categories are restricted to the following:

- Airfare* - Economy classes only limited to one (1) person per company. In the event two employees are needed for the activity, applicants will be required to prove the economic impact of supporting two airfares.
- Hotel* - Accommodations only limited to one (1) person per company. In the event two employees are needed for the activities, applications will be required to prove the economic impact of supporting two hotel rooms.
- Ground transportation related directly with international travel
- Baggage fees
- Parking
- Translation / Interpreter Fee
- Trade Mission / Trade Show fees including but not limited to registration fee, booth fee, equipment rental, utilities and shipments
- Subscription to USDOC services (Gold Key, ICP, Business Facilitation, Single Product Promotion, etc.)
- Independent consultant assistance (CE MARK, CSA, ISO, REACH, CITRA, etc.)
- Fees associated with export training, certification and consulting
- Product registration / certification costs
- International marketing media design (reimbursement cannot exceed $3,000)
- Currency exchange fees
- Meeting space and audio/visual costs
- Website internationalization (translation, SEO) (reimbursement cannot exceed $3,000)
- Fees for shipping sample products (reimbursement cannot exceed $2,000)
- Fees for compliance testing an existing product for entry into export market (reimbursement cannot exceed $3,000)
- Any other export promotion related expenses, subject to review

*For further specifications regarding Airfare and Hotel, see the Guidelines listed in Supporting Documents below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177564

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Financial assistance shall not exceed $5,000 per company.

No less than $1,000 in reimbursable expenses may be requested per application.

Term of Contract:

All successful grant activity expenses must be within the STEP grant period (October 1, 2018 through September 29, 2020 - no exceptions).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Assistance is limited to New Hampshire companies that satisfy the following criteria:

- Operate a licensed business in New Hampshire to manufacture, assemble and/or distribute a product, or provide an exportable service;
- Be in good standing with the New Hampshire Department of Revenue and the IRS;
- Identify one or more specific, achievable, export initiatives requiring financial support;
- Meet the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) definition of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME). This SBA-funded program defines a SME as an entity that:
1. Complies with SBA size standards*
2. Has been in business for not less than the 1-year period ending on the date on which assistance is provided under the Program;
3. Is operating profitably, based on its operations in the US;
4. Has demonstrated understanding of the costs associated with exporting and doing business with foreign purchasers, including the costs of freight forwarding, customs brokers, packing and shipping; and,
5. Has a strategic plan for exporting in effect.
- 51% U.S. content requirement.
- Agree to be featured in articles, blogspots, social media entries, press releases and videos created by New Hampshire Office of International Commerce (OIC), Division of Economic Development, and US Dept of Commerce. This includes photographic image, name and likeness and biographical material.

*Applicants should review SBA’s requirements to ensure that their company qualifies. See

Ineligible expense categories include, but are not limited to:

- Airfare for classes other than Economy class
- Hotel amenities, including but not limited to, food and beverage, internet, spa services, movies, fitness activities or tourist activities
- Expenses for more than one company employee per grant activity
- Compensation, wages, or salary of any employee of the grant recipient
- Alcoholic beverages
- Meals and incidentals
- Phone and Internet usage
- Phone Cards
- Capital goods, product samples, giveaways, supplies and conference registrations
- Passport or visas fees
- Immunizations
- Expenses related to entertaining current or prospective clients or government officials
- New production development or alternation of existing products
- Equipment, cell phone or cell phone charges
- Overseas promotional advertising
- Printing of international marketing materials (including brochures, flyers, posters, etc.)
- Any other ineligible expenses, subject to review

Note: All receipts or invoices that are not in English will need to be translated. Translations can be provided along with the receipt and currency conversion.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Period will open Monday, January 14, 2019. Applications are to be submitted online by 3:00pm EST on Friday, February 1, 2019.

The complete application packet including a proposal detailing an export promotion plan, along with the expense report, must be submitted. Partial application submissions will not be reviewed.

Directions to apply:

1. Click the NH Export Promotion Grant Program Guidelines January 2019 to download the application.
2. For questions or guidance relating to the program, please review the Financial Award Assistance Presentation or watch the Recorded Webinar (available until 10/7/2019).
3. Submit your application on the STEP Financial Assistance Award Application page (see Contact Information below).

All applications must include:

- The award application - submitted through the Office of International Commerce (OIC) (attachment A).
- A signed Letter of Commitment (attachment B)
- A signed media release form (attachment C)
- A signed SBA Eligible Small Business Concern form (attachment D)
- A signed SBA Form 1624, Certification Regarding Debarment (attachment E)
- All reimbursements must be listed in the Reimbursement Form (attachment F). Reimbursements will be based on completion of activity/training and all itemized receipts compiled in one submission. No partial packages will be accepted for reimbursement.

No more than one (1) application may be submitted per company.

Funding allowance is limited to one (1) per qualified business per grant award.

This is a 1:1 cash match grant.

For questions or guidance relating to the program, please review the Financial Award Assistance Presentation (listed in Supporting Documents below) or watch the Recorded Webinar (available until 10/7/2019).

For any questions, please contact Tina Kasim, Program Manager, or Rachel Adams, International Trade Officer.

For the Recorded Webinar:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To submit your application:

Tina Kasim, Program Manager
State of New Hampshire Office of International Commerce
NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs

Rachel Adams, International Trade Officer
State of New Hampshire Office of International Commerce
NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs

Justin Oslowski, Director
New Hampshire Export Assistance Center
U.S. Commercial Service
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Hampshire