State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) – Office of International Trade -Nebraska Department of Economic Development

The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) helps increase the number of small businesses that export, and increases export value for those already doing so. This program is made possible by a grant DED received from the U.S. Small Business Administration.


How It Works

  1. Businesses must fill out an application to identify as a small business entity.
  2. After qualification, the company must submit an Itemized Budget Request (IBR) for each activity for which they’re requesting funding.
  3. The submitted IBR must be approved before incurring any costs related to the project in order to be eligible for reimbursement.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must operate a business in Nebraska to process, manufacture, and/or distribute a product, or provide an exportable service. They must be in business for at least one year, and they must qualify as a small business entity according to U.S. Small Business Administration standards.

Allowable Activities

The following are examples of activities a STEP grant can support:

  • Domestic and International Trade shows
  • International Sales Trips
  • USDOC Match Marketing Programs
  • Marketing media design and translation services
  • Website development and website optimization services
  • 3rd Party Product Compliance Testing
  • Training / Educational Activities

Services Provided

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Technology Grants

Import and Export Assistance

  • Financial Assistance for Exporting Activities
Primary Contact
Susan Rouch
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509