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State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)    
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has recieved a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. TDA will administer the STEP program through partnerships that include the Office of the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism Division, the University of Texas at San Antonio - International Trade Center and the U.S. Department of Commerce. No other federal funds will be matched against this award.

Purpose:
The program’s objectives are to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and to increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting. The STEP program will take the necessary steps to create or expand their export capacity and provide financial assistance along the way to help them achieve success.

Texas’ STEP program will encompass recruitment, training and planning, and execution of export trade activities; including trade show involvement and assist with small business export development.


Eligibility: 

Texas-based small businesses that: 1) meets SBA “Small Business Concern” size guidelines; 2) is not debarred from federal funding; 3) has a product/service manufactured, produced, processed or value-added in Texas; 4) has been in business for at least one year; and 5) has demonstrated understanding of the costs associated with exporting.
   

To incentivize companies to enter new international markets and provide the customized assistance needed, TDA will provide post-completion reimbursement of up to $5,000 to eligible businesses for approved export activities which include the following:

  • Customized U.S. Commercial services include Initial Market Check/Gold Key Matching Services, and International Partner Search, etc.
  • Design of international marketing products or campaigns
  • Expert financial counseling for companies in need of more sophisticated support
  • Develop websites to attract foreign buyers
  • Fees for shipping sample products
  • Foreign language translations
  • Foreign market sales trips
  • Non-state participation in foreign trade missions and trade shows
  • Services to support foreign market entry
  • Website translation, search engine optimization, localization services
   
State Coordinated Export Events

In addition to their regular export assistance activities, Texas Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism (OOG) will coordinate the participation of Texas small businesses in two foreign trade shows. Eligible small businesses will receive free, turnkey, shared booth space and on-site assistance from experienced staff at the: 

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
 
Application Materials
Instructions
Request for Application - submission instruction and terms and conditions.

Please only choose ONE submission method.

Option 1: Online Submission
1. Online Submission Portal- Click here
2. Complete and Upload these forms to link above:
a. STEP Participation Application 
b. W-9 IRS Federal Tax Form
c. Direct Deposit Form
d. SBA-SF-1624

Option 2 and 3: Email or Mail
1. Complete and Email or mail these forms:
a. STEP Participation Application 
b. W-9 IRS Federal Tax Form
c. Direct Deposit Form
d. SBA-SF-1624
 
 
Contact
STEP - Project Managers

Mary Davison
Grant Specialist
(512) 463-9932
Grants@TexasAgriculture.gov

Nathan Matt 
Research Specialist
(512) 463-2496
Grants@TexasAgriculture.gov

Brenda Tharp

Grant Coordinator
(512) 463-6695
Grants@TexasAgriculture.gov


STEP - Administration

Mindy Fryer
STEP Project Director
(512) 463-6908
Grants@TexasAgriculture.gov

Karen Reichek

Director, Contracts and Grants
(512) 936-2450
Grants@TexasAgriculture.gov


TDA International Marketing


Carlos Guerrero

Coordinator For International Marketing
(512) 463-6507
Carlos.Guerrero@TexasAgriculture.gov