1. Instructions: The IN-STEP program application must be filled out by a designated business official for the applicant company.  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 with a “wet” written signature. The application is comprised of the following sections:

    1.) Business Information

    2.) Business Export Information

    3.) Proposed Trade Activities for IN-STEP Grant Program Funding

    4.) Business Background Documents and Electronic Signature Page

  2. 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 in the State of Indiana.

    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 composed of at least 51% U.S.-made content. The content verification is to be self-certified by the applicant in coordination with the IN-STEP program manager.

    5.) An applicant must be considered new to export or a market expansion firm.

  3. 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 $15,000 for an individual business per calendar year (January 1 – December 31). Applicant companies are encouraged to review the IN-STEP grant program factsheet and expense guidelines one-pager for a comprehensive review of program offerings. The information one pagers can be found on the IEDC website through this link. A business wishing to utilize IN-STEP grant program funding must submit all application materials no later than 15 days before the start of the proposed trade programming. Retroactive activities will be considered on a case-by-case basis and require the same application process. Activities must be paid for and completed before the reimbursement is permitted.

  4. Business Background Verification: All applicant businesses applying to the IN-STEP program will be subject to a business background verification 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.

  5. Notice of Award: Once an application is successfully submitted, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation 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 as well as determining final reimbursement amounts. Applicants should expect to receive an acceptance or denial decision within 30 business days once they receive notification that their application was successfully submitted. Staff from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation will notify an applicant should the IN-STEP Selection Committee have questions or need clarification regarding the business’s application.

  6. Questions: Please contact IEDCTrade@iedc.in.gov if you have questions.