MITC provides financial support to Maine companies for activities to improve global competitiveness and develop international markets with funding available through grants from the US Small Business Administration, FoodExport USA, and the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

STEP Financial Assistance Awards

Eligible Maine companies may receive up to $20,000 per year to expand international sales.

Ideas for Activities (PDF)


Eligible businesses may receive a maximum of five STEP Financial Assistance Awards for up to $20,000 per year. A company may not have more than 2 active applications at any given time. Applications will be reviewed and awarded in the order submitted.

For additional information on eligibility, requirements, and timeline for reimbursement, please review the Guidelines document (link below) before submitting your STEP Financial Assistance Award application.

Applications for a STEP Financial Assistance Award will not be considered until all supporting documentation is submitted. Incomplete applications will be terminated after 30 days, which means that applicants will need to reapply.

As part of the application, a specific project name, activity description, start and end dates, and estimated total cost are required.

Applications must be received by December 15, 2024. Funded activities must be completed before December 31, 2024.

Are you ready to apply?

To complete a STEP Financial Assistance Award application, you will need to provide the following information:

  • brief project name (e.g., B2B Matchmaking, E-commerce Platform, Export Compliance Audit, Seafood Expo Global 2024, Website SEO)
  • description of the activity
  • top target countries (up to 4)
  • start and end dates
  • estimated total cost

The first step is to create an account. It’s quick and easy. Setting up your company account on this portal will allow you to create, save, and submit applications, as well as invite other members of your team to participate.

When in doubt, ask MITC

If you have an idea to expand your export sales and are not sure the activity would be covered, contact us to discuss how we may be able to provide financial support. We want to hear from you.

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

The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant initiative of the U.S. Small Business Administration provides funding to increase the number of businesses that export. Administered by Maine International Trade Center (MITC), the objective of the STEP Financial Assistance Award is to encourage Maine companies to seek new international sales through financial support for costs associated with such activities.

Building your business domestically – through investing in market analysis, selection, and entry methods – serves as a springboard for future success in international markets.

Eligible Maine businesses may receive reimbursements totaling up to $15,000 per year to diversify and grow markets within the United States.