Over the years, MITC has been able to offer financial support to Maine companies working internationally.  Generally, these funds may be used for business-to-business matchmaking, interpreters or translators, trade show space, or other on-the-ground overseas activities.  Such funding has been available through the US Small Business Administration, FoodExport USA, the Softwood Export Council, and the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

STEP Financial Assistance Award

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.

Eligible Maine companies may receive a maximum of five STEP Financial Assistance Awards per year.

Airfare, lodging, meals, and printing are NOT eligible for reimbursement under this program.

Eligible businesses may receive reimbursements totaling up to $20,000 per year for costs associated with activities in the following categories:

International Business Development – up to $6,000 per activity
business matching services or international trade shows, including online B2B matchmaking services and virtual events

Export Skills Development – up to $2,000 per activity
training or export compliance services, including online export skills training

Export Marketing Assistance – up to $6,000 per activity
consultants to improve marketing efforts, including website localization and optimization



For information on eligibility and requirements for reimbursement, please review the STEP 2019-2020 Guidelines before submitting your STEP Financial Assistance Award application.


A specific activity, dates, and estimated total cost are required as part of the application. Applications must be received by September 16, 2020. Funded activities must be completed before September 30, 2020.


For more information or if you have questions, contact us.