Instructions: The IN-STEP program application must be filled out by a designated, full time business official. Please fill out all fields completely; incomplete applications that are submitted are subject to being deemed ineligible. Any documents that need to be signed must be printed, scanned, and then uploaded to the application. This application is comprised of the following sections (please note that users cannot save the application until halfway through the application):
1.) Business Information
2.) Business Export Information
3.) Proposed Export Programming
4.) Signature and Agreement Documents
Business Qualifications: The IN-STEP program has minimum qualifications that must be met in order to qualify for the program. These minimum qualifications include the following:
1.) An applicant business must be in operation for at least one calendar year.
2.) An applicant business must be a small business as defined by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). Use this link to review the industry specific size standards set by the U.S. SBA.
3.) An applicant must be a client of the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC).
4.) An applicant's export product must be of U.S origin or composed of at least 51% U.S. made content. The content verification is to be self-certified by the applicant.
5.) An applicant must be a new to export or market expansion small business.
Eligible IN-STEP Activities: Applicants have the option to receive reimbursement for the following eligible export activities which includes but is not limited to the following: international trade missions, international or domestic trade shows, website customization, search engine optimization, compliance testing or certification of product or services, export training, market research, translation of digital or print materials, and services offered by the United States Department of Commerce. Total reimbursements under the IN-STEP program will cover up to 80% of a small business’s eligible costs not to exceed $12,500 for an individual business annually. Please review the IN-STEP grant program expense guidelines one pager for a definitive reimbursement breakdown of all activities. A business wishing to utilize IN-STEP grant program funding must submit all applications materials no later than 40 days before the start of the proposed export programming. Retroactive activities will be considered on a case by case basis and require the same application process.
Business Verification: All applicant businesses applying to the IN-STEP program will be subject to a background check through the Indiana Department of Revenue, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office. Unresolved issues with a background check could lead to the applicant being deemed ineligible for the program.
Notice of Award: Once a completed application is successfully submitted, the IEDC will send a confirmation message to the applicant business noting that their IN-STEP grant program application has been received and is being evaluated by the IN-STEP Selection Committee. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation reserves the right to use digression when approving or denying proposed activities and applicant businesses and final reimbursement amounts. Applicants should expect to receive an acceptance or denial decision within 30 to 60 days once they receive notification that their application was successfully submitted. The International Trade Manager at the IEDC will notify an applicant should the IN-STEP Selection Committee have questions or need clarification regarding their application.
Questions: Please contact @IEDC Trade if you have questions.