The Oklahoma STEP Fund is part of the State Trade Expansion (STEP) Grant Program, an export promotion initiative to make matching-fund grants to assist small businesses in Oklahoma. The intent of this program is 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.

Funded Services

The STEP Fund is a matching grant reimbursing 75% of participation costs and travel expenses to exhibit at designated international trade shows.

Grant funding covers registration, exhibitor passes and booth space in the Oklahoma Pavilion for all shows except the Offshore Technology Conference and FABTECH Canada. For those shows, funding can be used for exhibitor passes, any registration fees, and the booth space as well as travel.

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

Note: There is a maximum reimbursement for each 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. The following federal guidelines are applicable to each of these services in order to meet the reimbursement policy covered under the grant. 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.

Trade Shows

Oil + Gas

Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2020
Houston
May 4 – 7, 2020

OTC is the largest event in the world for the oil and gas industry featuring more than 2,400 exhibitors, and attendees representing 120 countries.

Apply by February 3, 2020. Approval notification by March 2, 2020

Mexico Petroleum Congress 2020
Monterrey, Mexico
June 24 – 27, 2020

The Mexican Petroleum Congress is Mexico and Latin-America’s most important forum for the exchange of scientific and technological innovation in the oil/gas exploration and production industry. Considered the industry’s biggest event, all of Mexico’s leading oil and gas players exhibit and/or attend this show.

Apply by March 6, 2020. Approval notification by April 6, 2020

Aerospace

Farnborough International Airshow 2020
Farnborough, UK
July 20 – 24, 2020

The Farnborough International Air Show is the largest aerospace event in the world. Meet up with all the key global players in the aerospace industry and identify new commercial opportunities for sales and partnerships.

Apply March 6, 2020. Approval notification by April 6, 2020

Manufacturing + Fabrication

FABTECH Mexico 2020
Mexico City, Mexico
May 12 – 14, 2020

FABTECH Mexico continues to be the primary gathering for leading metal manufacturers in Mexico.  The event will bring together 575 exhibitors and cover more than 140,000 net square feet of show floor. Over 13,000 attendees from Mexico and South America will network, learn and experience first-hand the latest innovations in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries.

Apply by February 3, 2020. Approval notification by March 2, 2020

FABTECH Canada 2020
Toronto, Ontario
June 16-18, 2020

FABTECH Canada is where you can meet with 300+ world-class suppliers, see the latest industry products and developments, and find the tools to improve productivity, increase profits and discover new solutions for all of your metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing needs.

Apply by March 6, 2020. Approval notification by April 6, 2020

Agriculture/Food

National Restaurant Association
Chicago, IL
May 16 – 19, 2020

A truly global marketplace for an increasingly global industry. This is the one place to meet, experience, learn, and discover the best that the international restaurant and foodservice industry has to offer.

Apply by February 3, 2020. Approval notification by March 2, 2020

Summer Fancy Food Show
New York City, NY
June 28 – 30, 2020

The tradeshow is North America’s premier showcase for specialty gourmet, ethnic, natural and organic foods, snacks and beverages. International buyers continue to look for new, distinct specialty food products from the United States.

Apply by February 3, 2020. Approval notification by March 2, 2020.

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 cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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