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STEP Financial Assistance Award

Grants to Maine Small Businesses to Promote
Exporting and International Sales

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Maine International Trade Center (MITC)

Deadline Date:

09/16/20 Receipt


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Grants of up to $15,000 per year to Maine small businesses to promote exporting and encourage the development of new international sales markets. Funding may be used for international business development, skills development related to exporting, and export marketing assistance.

International Business Development: International business development services awards will reimburse for business matching services or international trade show participation, plus associated expenses such as shipping, interpretation, or in-market ground transportation. Expenses relating to domestic trade shows are eligible only if the company engages international matchmaking services such as the US Commercial Service international buyer’s program or equivalent. 

Export Skills Development: Award will reimburse costs associated with skills development including private or public training and export compliance services.

Export Marketing Assistance: Companies may engage consultants to improve marketing efforts in support of international trade show participation or assist in market entry in the North Atlantic-Arctic region.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184883

Estimated Size of Grant:

Eligible businesses may receive reimbursements totaling up to $15,000 per year for costs associated with activities in the following categories:
- International Business Development – up to $4,000 per activity business matching services or international trade shows including online B2B matchmaking services and virtual events
- Export Skills Development – up to $2,000 per activity training or export compliance services
- Export Marketing Assistance – up to $6,000 per activity consultants to improve marketing efforts

Term of Contract:

Funded activities must be completed before September 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To apply, companies or firms must meet the U.S. Small Business Administration’s definition of small business, and manufacture or perform at least 51% of the covered good or service in Maine, and meet any other SBA guidelines for receiving federal grants.

For a definition of an eligible small business, see:

For International Business Development grants, eligible companies may only receive support for one domestic trade show per grant year and may only receive support for three domestic shows in total.

Airfare, lodging, meals, printing, and search engine optimization (SEO) are not eligible for reimbursement under this program.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by September 16, 2020.

The typical processing time for applications is one week from date of submission to notification.

If applying for the first time, a company must complete and submit a SelfRepresentation as an “Eligible Small Business Concern” form

Eligible Maine companies may receive a maximum of three STEP Financial Assistance Awards per year.

Reimbursement amounts may not exceed 50% of the total project cost (including travel) and may only cover non-travel expenses.

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

For questions, contact:

Maine International Trade Center
2 Portland Fish Pier (Marine Trade Center), Suite 204
Portland, ME 04101

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maine

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