State Trade Expansion Program

The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is a financial assistance program for aspiring and current Colorado exporters entering into a new global market funded in part by a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Companies can use these funds to attend trade shows around the world. Our Global Business Development (GBD) division has selected the following trade shows that they will attend for the 2019–2020 grant period and encourage eligible companies to apply to participate. The benefit of attending a trade show with GBD is that the state pays for all booth costs and exhibitor fees. In addition, companies in the state booth receive a travel stipend to attend the show.

Participating in international trade shows is among the most effective ways for companies to enter into new global markets or expand their visibility in existing markets. Trade shows offer the opportunity to meet potential buyers, test market interest, and evaluate the competition.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements – Colorado company participants must meet the U.S. SBA’s size standards (13 C.F.R. Part 121) as well as other qualifying criteria identified by the SBA and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). Learn more.

Eligible Export Activities and Allowable Costs Covered by STEP – Grant awards may be used for specific global business development activities as identified by the SBA and OEDIT. Learn more.

OEDIT has selected the following trade shows for the 2019 – 2021 grant period and encourage eligible companies to apply to participate.

Application Process

  • Applicants are required to submit a market research report explaining their decision to enter or expand into the proposed market. We recommend utilizing this market research report template.
  • A panel will review all submitted applications. Please allow 3-4 weeks from submission date to receive notification of funding.
  • Grant awardees will receive a detailed commitment letter from OEDIT indicating the agreed upon export development project or activities, timing and breakout of approved expenses in US Dollars.
  • If you have questions, please contact Nicole Gunkle ([email protected]).

MEDICA Trade Fair in Düsseldorf, Germany
November 18 – 21, 2019

Application closed.

JEC World in Paris, France
March 3-5, 2020
Application closed.

HANNOVER MESSE in Hannover, Germany
April 20-24, 2020
Apply Now

Solar Power International 2020 in Anaheim, California
September 14-17, 2020
Application will open late Spring/early Summer.

FY 19-21 Colorado General STEP Application
Apply Now


Funded in part by a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Nicole Gunkle International Grants Manager