The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 authorizes the U.S. Small Business Administration to establish a 3-year trade and export promotion pilot program, known as the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant Program, to make grants to States to carry out export programs that assist eligible small business concerns. The aim of the STEP Program is to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting.

Do I Qualify?

The target audience for this program is small businesses, with 500 employees or less. DED will focus assistance to these small firms to new markets in order to ensure increased opportunities.

  • 500 employees or less
  • In business for 1 year or more
  • Is operating profitably; based on operations in the US
  • Is an export-ready U.S. company seeking to export goods or services of U.S. origin or have at least 51% U.S.
  • Has demonstrated export sales potential and intent, understanding the costs associated with exporting and doing business with foreign purchasers, including the cost of freight forwarding, custom brokers, packing and shipping and has a strategic plan in effect for exporting
  • Registrants will be required to acknowledge and commit to the reporting methodology as set forth by the state and detailed on each application form.

How Do I Apply?

Eligible applicants must submit a complete application form in order to be considered. Only applicants applying for approved cost-share activities will be reviewed for approval. Application review will consider activity, market opportunity, impact, likelihood of success and availability of funds. Approval of the application is required in advance of the event. Once completed, all receipts and source documentation evidencing the cost and the cost share must be submitted to DED within 90 days of the execution of the event(s) for reimbursement. Failure to comply with the submission of required documents may result in the delay or cancellation of the approved reimbursement. Reimbursement is the lesser of the authorized amount in the approval letter or the actual eligible costs. A Tax Clearance Letter from the Missouri Department of Revenue indicating that the applicant/company has no outstanding taxes due must accompany the request for reimbursement.

MO STEP=UP Guidelines

Application Check list:

  1. Marketing Activity
    1. Completed Application
    2. Export Plan (if required)
  2. Supporting Documents
    1. Executed Disclosure and Confidentiality Agreement (DCA) Form
    2. SBA Self-Representation Form
    3. SBA Debarment Certification Form
    4. MissouriBuys
    5. Sign and Return Certificate of Statement (Original Signature Page)
    6. E-Verify Memorandum
    7. Fly America Document
  3. Additional Documentation required after activity takes place
    1. Receipts
    2. Tax Clearance
    3. Invoice
    4. Client Impact Statement

Need Help?

Contact the Division of Business and Community Services at or 573-751-4855.