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Oklahoma Department of Commerce

The Oklahoma STEP Forward Enhancement Fund is part of the State Trade Expansion (STEP) Grant Program, an export promotion initiative to make matching-fund grants assisting 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 grant-matching program that reimburses eligible companies for certain expenses related to expanding international exporting.

Trade Shows

The STEP program is a matching grant which pays a portion of participation costs and travel expenses to exhibit at designated international trade shows. Matching reimbursement varies by show.

Grant funding covers exhibitor passes and booth space in the Oklahoma Pavilion for all shows except the Offshore Technology Conference. For that conference, funding can be used for exhibitor passes, any registration fees, and the company’s own booth with a reimbursement cap at $3,000.

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

Avalon 2017 – Aerospace and Defense Expo
Geelong, Australia
February 28 – March 5 2017

The Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defense Exposition is the essential aviation, aerospace and defense event for the Asia Pacific.

Maximum reimbursement cost per company:

  • Exhibition Fees: $3,000.00 (Oklahoma Pavilion)
  • Travel Costs: $10,500.00*
  • Total per company: $13,500.00

Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2017
May 1 – 4, 2017

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.

Maximum reimbursement cost per company:

  • Exhibition Fees: $3,000.00 (Companies exhibit on their own)
  • Travel Costs: $8,342.00*
  • Total per company: $11,342.00

Mexico Petroleum Congress 2017
Puebla, Mexico
June 7 – 9, 2017

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.

Maximum reimbursement cost per company:

  • Exhibition Fees: $2,000.00 (Oklahoma Pavilion)
  • Travel Costs: $10,000.00*
  • Total per company: $12,000.00

Paris International Airshow 2017
Paris, France
June 19 – 22, 2017

The International Paris 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.

Maximum reimbursement cost per company:

  • Exhibition Fees: $2,125.00 (Oklahoma Pavilion)
  • Travel Costs: $15,000.00*
  • Total per company: $17,125.00

*For up to 2 company officials only.


The ExporTech program helps companies develop a customized international growth plan so they can enter or expand into global markets and begin selling quickly. STEP will pay 75% of the $1,200 registration costs for two attendees.

Aerospace ExporTech
January 24; February 22; March 22, 2017

Spring ExporTech
April 27; May 25; June 22, 2017

Fall ExporTech
July 18; August 22; September 19, 2017


Grant funds can be used to cover costs related to entering into a new international market with an existing product. These include:

  • Website translations and design
  • Compliance testing an existing product for entry into an export market
  • Shipping sample products

Reimbursement for services is capped at $2,000 per category.

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 the SBA size standards found at 13 C.F.R. Part 121.

Grant Requirements

The recipient must use the grant specifically for international marketing purposes. Services to be provided to ‘Eligible Small Business Concerns’ under Program grants include, but are not limited to: participation in an international business plan development program (ExporTech); exhibition at designated export trade shows and travel costs associated; website translation and international marketing media design services; compliance testing to export an existing product for entry into a new export market, and shipping sample products.

Travel Reimbursement

For trade shows, 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.

Application Process & Forms

Download and fill out all forms below. See the Application and Guidelines for complete instructions. Sign forms and retain originals for your records. Color scan signed copies into PDF format and e-mail them to Applications will be accepted starting November 1, 2016.

Application Deadlines

Services: Apply for grant funds to cover services at any point during the duration of the program. November 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017.

ExporTechs: Applications to use grant funds to attend an ExporTech are due 30 days before each event. Aerospace ExporTech deadline extended to Friday, January 13, 2017.

Tradeshows: Applications to use grant funds for tradeshows are due on the following schedule:

  • Avalon 2017 – Aerospace and Defense Expo
    Apply by December 15, 2016. Approval notification by January 15, 2017
  • Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2017
    Apply by February 1, 2017. Approval notification by March 1, 2017
  • Mexico Petroleum Congress 2017
    Apply by March 6, 2017. Approval notification by April 6, 2017
  • Paris International Airshow 2017
    Apply by March 6, 2017. Approval notification by April 6, 2017

Small Business Administration logo

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


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