Michigan’s State Trade Expansion Program Grant
Through Michigan’s State Trade Expansion Program (MI-STEP), the International Trade team offers financial assistance for exporting activities to eligible Michigan small businesses, enabling access to global markets and buyers while increasing the dollar value of Michigan exports.
The MEDC International Trade Program has a new allocation of State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) funds available for eligible small business concerns. On September 12, 2019, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) awarded Michigan the maximum state award of $900,000 in MI-STEP funds for FY20. With additional state match funding, total funds available are $2.1 million.
The program has three primary objectives:
- Increase the number of Michigan small businesses that export
- Increase the dollar value of Michigan exports
- Increase the number of Michigan small businesses exploring significant new trade opportunities
Up to $15,000 in assistance is available to offset 50 percent of pre-approved expenses per fiscal year. Michigan companies must meet the following eligibility criteria to qualify for MI-STEP funds:
- Be in accordance with Small Business Administration (SBA) guidelines and size standards: www.sba.gov/content/small-business-size-standards
- Demonstrate an understanding of the costs associated with exporting and doing business with foreign purchasers, including the costs of freight forwarding, customs brokers, packing, and shipping, per SBA guidelines
- Demonstrate potential for export success and positive impact on the regional economy
- Provide an EIN number linked to a Michigan address
- Be in good standing with the Michigan Department of Treasury and other regulatory agencies
- Must be an export-ready U.S. company seeking to export goods or services of U.S. origin or have at least 51 percent U.S. content