Statewide—The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) launched the Indiana State Trade and Export Promotion (IN-STEP) program to develop and expand export opportunities throughout the state, assisting Indiana small businesses with identifying, marketing and selling Hoosier-made goods in international markets.
IN-STEP, which will support company growth and job creation by diversifying small businesses’ customer bases, offers eligible companies reimbursements of costs associated with export-related activities like participating in international trade missions, foreign trade shows and export educational programs, as well as other export services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Total reimbursements under IN-STEP cover up to 50%, or $12,500, of small businesses’ export expenses.
The program, which is launching with the support of a two-year grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), will provide up to $660,000 in funding for small businesses. Applications will be available on a rolling basis until all funds are distributed or up to August 31, 2021.
Qualifying criteria is as follows:
- The business must be in operation for at least a year.
- The business must be new to exporting or market expansion.
- The business must be an Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) client.
- The business must be in accordance with SBA size standards, which categorize small businesses based on measures like industry, number of employees and annual receipts. Use the SBA’s Size Standards Tool to see if your company qualifies.
- The business’ goods must be made in the U.S. or composed of at least 51% U.S. material.