Nevada State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant

Nevada STEP Grant Opportunities

Our nation's small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Nevada is taking steps to reopen the economy which involves assisting small, export ready businesses fund activities that will prepare them for when trade normalizes. STEP helps small businesses overcome obstacles to exporting by providing grants to cover the costs associated with the international trade. In order to facilitate global market success, grant rules have been adapted during the challenging times to include virtual service offerings.

GOED has been awarded $149,500 in grant funding in September 2020 for the implementation of a competitive STEP to support Nevada companies in exporting their products and services internationally.

Since the program started a decade ago, $1.7 million has been awarded to Nevada to help small businesses leverage global sales growth.

STEP is a federal trade and export initiative to make matching-fund awards to states to assist their small businesses with entering and succeeding in the international marketplace. The program is funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration and administered by GOED International Trade Division on behalf of the state. GOED is proud of the relationship it has developed over the course of the last decade with the SBA, which has led to results that have made a remarkable impact on Nevada small businesses.


Small Business Eligibility Criteria:

  • A for-profit business registered in Nevada;
  • Physically located & operational in Nevada at least one year;
  • Not barred from federal funds;
  • One or more full-time employees;
  • Export-ready company seeking to export goods or services of U.S. origin OR have at least 51% U.S. content;
  • Sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade;
  • Small business in accordance with SBA guidelines and size standards: or Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

List of Allowable Activities:

  • Design and development of website, with an international focus and E-commerce;
  • Participation in an online export training workshops;
  • Shipping sample products;
  • Compliance testing of existing product for entry into an export market;
  • Website translation into foreign language, search engine optimization, and localization services;
  • Digital international marketing;
  • Virtual trade shows;
  • Foreign market sales trips;
  • The following U.S. Commercial Service subscription services:
    • Gold Key Services make pre-screened appointments with potential overseas agents, distributors, sales representatives, business partners and other local in-country entities;
    • Market intelligence:
      • Customized Market Research answers questions about an overseas market including market trends and size, customary distribution and promotion practices, market entry requirements, regulations, product standards and registration, key competitors and potential agents, distributors, or strategic partners;
      • The Initial Market Check is an initial assessment of the market potential of a product or service in a targeted market. The service gauges the potential of a specific product or service in a market by gathering feedback from up to five industry participants and provides recommendations on whether to pursue the target market.
    • Matchmaking Services:
      • International Partner Search provides U.S. firms with a list of up to five agents, distributors and partners that have expressed an interest in your product or service;
      • International Partner Search Plus Virtual Introductions provides U.S. firms with a list of up to five agents, distributors and partners that have expressed an interest in your product or service, and includes virtual introductions via teleconference to the identified contacts.
    • eCommerce Innovation Lab provides U.S. exporters with tools/resources to explore and leverage eCommerce channels. Learn more at
    • Due Diligence on Foreign Parties:
      • International Company Profile - Full  in -depth background check information on a specific foreign company to help determine its suitability as potential business partner;
      • International Company Profile – Partial
    • In-Country Promotion of Products or Services:
      • Single Company Promotion provides U.S. companies with promotional services to help increase the awareness of their product/service in a specific market. The promotion may consist of targeted direct mail or e-mail campaigns;
      • Featured U.S. Exporters Listing provides U.S. companies with an opportunity to enhance their international marketing efforts through improved search engine optimization.
    • RAISE (Rural America Intelligence Service for Exporters) is a new research service for rural companies used for worldwide matrix, country research, potential partner search .

Application Period is Now CLOSED


Success Stories and Events:

STEP has been providing resources to Nevada small businesses to help them tap into new markets and increase their international sales.

“Benefits of exporting for Nevada small businesses are increased competitiveness, increased sales, higher profits, lower costs, reduced vulnerability and extending the product life cycle,” said Michael Brown, GOED executive director. “Exports lead to domestic production. Domestic production requires domestic labor which leads to an increase in employment in our state. There have been more than 50,000 jobs created by exports in Nevada last year.”

Bon Tool successfully continues to grow as a global leader in the manufacture of professional construction tools for the trowel trades.

“Through the grant money awarded by GOED this year alone we have secured export sales to over 30 countries. Our primary focus was to increase our customer base in Latin America and South America. We made many meaningful contacts and were able to convert them into sales…even in these uncertain times.”, said John Bongiovanni, Bon Tool President

Retro Manufacturing, 2020 Nevada Small Business Exporter of the Year utilized the grant for a foreign market sales trip and compliance testing. Leading producer of audio components for the classic vehicle market and proactive supporter of the automotive restoration around the globe shared with us the advantages of the grant.

"The STEP Grant has allowed us to meet our international dealers face-to-face and better address their customers' specific wants and needs. We have been given opportunities we normally wouldn't have, which has led to an increase in our export sales of over 30%.”

Cultiva, Nevada based producer of food-grade biofilm technology used the grant for compliance testing of their product.

“The STEP grant allowed Cultiva to expand our research and development efforts in Europe, a market of significant importance for us as we continue to grow and deliver solutions to increase marketable yields for growers across the globe”, shared Luis Hernandez, CEO

10th Anniversary  of STEP Grant Program


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

For any questions, please contact us by email at