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State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant - State-Led Industry Trade Shows

Grants to Idaho Small Businesses to Participate in
International Trade Shows and to Increase Exports

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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State of Idaho Department of Commerce and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA)

Deadline Date:

08/24/18 3:00 PM MDT - For Energy: Power-GEN and Aerospace: Avalon Airshow


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Grants to Idaho small businesses for participating in international trade shows. Funding is intended to increase the number of Idaho businesses that export goods, to increase the value of Idaho exports, and to increase the number of businesses pursuing new trade opportunities.

IDC/ISDA led trade shows are a valuable trade tool available to qualifying companies seeking support in various international trade activities. The program was designed with flexibility to meet the specific international marketing needs of Idaho companies. Approved IDC/ISDA Trade Show Pavilions include the following:

- Energy: Power-GEN - Orlando, Florida - December 4-6, 2018
- Aerospace: Avalon Airshow - Geelong, Australia - February 26 - March 1, 2019
- Safety and Security: Expo Seguridad - México City, MX - May 7-9, 2019
- Energy: Power-GEN - New Orleans, Louisiana - November 19-21, 2019
- Homeland Security and Safety: Milipol - Paris, France - November 19-22, 2019
- Aerospace: Singapore Airshow – Singapore - February 11-14, 2020
- Advanced Manufacturing: Hannover Messe – Hannover, Germany - April 1-5, 2020

Application deadlines are on a per project basis. The current application deadline applies to the first two shows listed above only.

Idaho Commerce will provide the following:
- Organize booth rental, logistics, payments, and terms and conditions with show organizers
- Provide recommendations for travel and hotel reservations
- Coordinate with U.S. Commercial Service (USCS), other contractors and/or show organizers
- Provide layout, design, and printing of a group marketing brochure
- Organize pre-show meetings/conference calls
- Help facilitate follow up action items with each company

You agree to:
- Participate in full Trade Show itinerary times and dates with the IDC/ISDA and other recipients
- Provide company literature, summaries, and logos for booth design and/or marketing brochure upon request and in a timely manner
- Attend all conference calls and meetings that pertain to the trade show
- Clearly communicate product/service intricacies to IDC/ISDA/USCS
- Facilitate travel reservations and forward confirmation(s) to IDC/ISDA upon booking
- Responsible for costs outside of the project including, but not limited to: food, ground transportation, additional travelers, change fees, additional shipping costs, and any change/cancellations fees

Eligible Expenses for Stipend Reimbursement (not applicable for Power-GEN shows):

Each company will receive a stipend to be used for eligible expenses. Any combination of the options below may be used until the maximum reimbursement is achieved.

- Travel expenses: airfare, baggage fees, lodging, rental car and fuel for the rental car, meals and incidental expenses.
- Trade show expenses: booth/registration fees, insurance, display, and furnishings; show services (labor, utilities, security, storage); demonstration supplies; shipping fees up to $2,000.
- Interpreter fees.
- Services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce or similar contractor.
- Design of marketing media (not printing).

Pre-Award Cost Exception:

The following expenses may be incurred prior to the award period of September 30, 2018 to September 29, 2020 and are eligible for reimbursement during the contract term:
- Booth Space Rental Fees: Up to one year in advance of the approved trade show is allowable
- Airfare: Up to six months in advance of the approved trade show is allowable

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182033

Term of Contract:

With some exceptions, funds will be awarded on or after September 30, 2018 and all funds must be expended on or before September 29, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, which authorized the State Trade Expansion Program, limits provision of services to ‘eligible small business concerns’. For purposes of implementing the STEP Program, the SBA operationally defines the term ‘eligible small business concern’ as an entity that meets the specifications below and completes the subsequent certification.

Complies with SBA requirements for self-representation as an eligible small business concern:
- Is organized or incorporated in the United States;
- Is operating in the United States;
- Meets the applicable industry-based small business size standards;
- Has been in business for not less than 1 year, as of the date on which assistance using a grant under this subsection commences; and
- Has access to sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade, including the costs of packing, shipping, freight forwarding, and customs brokers.

Eligible small businesses must meet the following additional criteria to be considered for this program:
- Operates a business in Idaho to process, assemble, and/or distribute a product or provide an exportable service. The company does not need to be headquartered in Idaho, but must have operations located within the state to qualify.
- Must not be debarred, suspended, proposed for disbarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in this transaction by any Federal department or agency
- Company is for-profit
- Recipients must adhere to the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The following small businesses are not eligible for STEP funding:
- Consulting agencies
- Companies, organizations or individuals recruiting foreign direct investment
- Companies engaged in any activity that is illegal under Federal or state law
- Derives more than one-third of its gross annual revenue from legal gambling activities
- Distributors representing clients
- Educational institutions or for-profit schools recruiting students
- Foreign based companies or more than 49% foreign owned
- Hospitality or tourism operators
- Law Firms
- Multi-level marketing (MLM), direct sales or network marketing companies
- Non-Profit organizations, unless a significant portion of activities are to assist entrepreneurs
- Presents live performances of a sexual nature or derives more than a minor amount of revenue from the sale of products or services of a sexual nature
- Real estate developers
- Retail businesses
- The IDC/ISDA reserves the right to limit or exclude previous recipients of STEP funds that have been assessed risk rating

Note: The SBA expects that companies will eventually graduate from the STEP program. Therefore, IDC/ISDA may choose not to fund the same trade show more than a total of three (3) times, consecutive years or otherwise, per company. For example: If STEP funds have been awarded for the company to attend IWA in 2013, 2016, and 2017, an award may not be given to attend the show a 4th time.

Ineligible Expenses:

Expense categories ineligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to:
- First Class or Business Class airline tickets: If you fly first class, you will only be reimbursed up to the Economy rate. To
receive reimbursement for the value of an Economy ticket when you fly First/Business class, you must provide a model of what the economy fare would have been at the time you booked your First/Business class ticket. Ensure you or your travel agent secures this documentation; without it you cannot be reimbursed.
- Airline Point Redemption: The value of Airline Point Redemption is not a reimbursable expense. You may use points to upgrade to business or first class, however, the economy airfare must be clearly shown on receipts.
- Travel expenses for importers/distributors or in-market company representatives.
- Wages, salaries, benefits, bonuses or other employee incentives
- Meals and beverages other than travel per diem
- Tips of any kind
- Printing of brochures, flyers and business cards
- Capital goods, product samples and supplies (except for trade show demonstration supplies)
- Expenses incurred outside of the STEP grant period
- Federal regulations set by the U.S. Department of the Treasury prohibit funding of activities in/with sanctioned and/or embargoed countries.
- Passport or visa costs
- Immunizations
- Entertainment expenses related to entertaining current or prospective clients or government officials
- New product development or alteration of existing products
- Cell phone rentals and cell phone roaming or long-distance charges
- Television and radio production
- Efforts to create or augment marketing and advertising campaigns to draw international visitors to a State
- Costs associated with CE mark
- Costs for website development and/or design
- Costs for enhancement and/or development of an existing company’s product

Pre-Application Information:

Application window is August 6, 2018 to 3:00 PM MDT Friday, August 24, 2018.

Logins to the online application portal must be requested 48 hours prior to application due dates.

Note: If an applicant has limited English proficiency and needs access to resources for assistance, the IDC/ISDA maintains service standards to help.

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated concurrently and will be awarded approximately 6-weeks after application close.

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

To register for your online portal account and apply, contact:
Tina Salisbury, Idaho Department of Commerce
Phone: (208) 287-3164

Chelsea Conlon, Idaho State Department of Agriculture
Phone: (208) 332-8678

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Idaho