STEP Fund | Oklahoma Department of Commerce

Promoting your company at trade shows can be an effective way to gain recognition in your industry and to enter into the global market or expand your international trade capabilities. But not every small business is in the position to coordinate trade show logistics or design and operate their own trade booth. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce makes it possible for Oklahoma companies to partner with the state at trade shows across the globe. With the help of the Oklahoma STEP Fund, qualified companies can get reimbursed for 75% of the participation cost.

Funded Services

The STEP Fund is a matching grant reimbursing 75% of costs for three different designated services: participation costs and travel expenses to exhibit at international trade shows, cost of Export Compliance Training, and Export Solutions through US Commercial Services.

For all shows, matching grant reimbursement for exhibitor passes and travel costs (airfare and hotel) is capped at two people per company per show.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, an applicant must own a small Oklahoma-based business which: (1) is organized or incorporated in the United States; (2) is operating in the United States; (3) has been in business for not less than 1 year, as of the date on which assistance is provided using this grant; (4) Has access to sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade, including the costs of packing, shipping, freight forwarding, and customs brokers; (5) in good business standing; and (6) complies with SBA size standards 13 C.F.R. Part 121.

Use of Funds + Grant Requirements

The recipient must use the grant specifically for exhibition at designated export trade shows and the travel costs associated with the show. Travel reimbursement will cover airfare and lodging only. Oklahoma STEP Fund will reimburse 75% of the cost. The maximum varies for each show.

  • Application Process + Forms

Download and fill out all forms below. See the Application for complete instructions. Sign forms and retain originals for your records. Color scan signed copies into PDF and email to stepfund@okcommerce.gov. Applications will be accepted starting October 1, 2019.

Virtual Exporting Training Series

The unprecedented spread of COVID-19 has caused disruption in our lives, businesses, and communities. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce remains committed to providing you with resources to combat this disruption. To that end, we are offering a new virtual series on the Legal Essentials to Exporting, funded in part by the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property in Global Markets

Tuesday, July 14 | 9 – 10:30 AM

  • Importance of protecting intellectual property, specifically name and trademark, in international markets
  • Process and time frame for protecting intellectual property internationally, including alternative strategies
  • Tips on avoiding costly litigation and disputes related to U.S. and international trademark infringement

The Bare Basics: What every exporter needs to know about Export Controls

Tuesday, July 28 | 9 – 10:30 AM

  • U.S. Export Control Regulations (ITAR, OFAC, and EAR) and how they may affect doing business internationally including processes and procedures that can help ensure compliance with applicable regulations.
  • Trade embargoes, sanctions and restricted party screening
  • Enforcement – what happens when there is a violation

Trade Shows

MRO Americas Show

September 1-3, 2020
Dallas, TX

MRO Americas is the premier U.S. event for the commercial air transport maintenance, repair and overhaul industry, offering an extensive conference agenda and where real business leads are generated.

NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition

October 6-8, 2020
Orlando, FL

NBAA is the premier event and annual meeting place for the business aviation community.  This event brings together key aviation contacts from around the world, including current and prospective business aircraft owners, manufacturers and customers into one meeting place.       

Black Sea Defense

Aerospace, and Security International Exhibition
October 14-16, 2020
Bucharest, Romania

Black Sea Defense & Aerospace is the international tri-service Defense, Aerospace and Security exhibition, bringing together exhibitors, specialized visitors and official military delegations from around the world.

MRO Europe Show

October 27-29, 2020
Barcelona Spain

MRO Europe is the premier event for Europe’s commercial air transport maintenance, repair and overhaul industry.

Export Compliance Training Event

August 13, 1-5pm, Embassy Suites, Norman, OK 

This specialized training will give Oklahoma companies the opportunity to learn first-hand from experienced U.S. Government officials about export control policies, regulations and procedures. Specialized training will be offered in four areas:

  • ITAR Export Compliance Training
  • US Commercial Services Overview and Offerings
  • Export Research Tool Subscription Training
  • Food export training

Partners

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce works with the U.S. Commercial Service – Oklahoma Export Assistance Center, U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Oklahoma District Office, Oklahoma International Trade Center, Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Oklahoma Sorghum Commission and Export-Import Bank of the United States to support Oklahoma companies in exporting to new markets to generate wealth and increase employment in the state.

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

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Your STEP Grant Experts

Nicole Boyles, IOM
Director of Grants & Regional Partnerships
Jesse Garcia
Jesse Garcia
International Trade Specialist
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