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), STEP provides grant awards to small and medium-sized businesses to offset global business and export development activities.

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.

Entering New Markets – 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. OEDIT has selected the following trade shows for the 2019 – 2020 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 2-3 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 the relevant staff member below.

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

Application closed.

JEC World in Paris, France
March 3-5, 2020
Apply Now

HANNOVER MESSE in Hanover, Germany
April 20-24, 2019
Application will open early Spring.

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

FY 18-20 Colorado General STEP Application
Apply Now


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

Nicole Gunkle International Grants Manager