Attending wholesale trade shows is a great way to introduce your products to a global audience, as well as to keep your products top-of-mind in the worldwide marketplace.However, international trade shows can be expensive, and often will not return sales for up to 3 years.To help limit your risk of trying out a new show, Montana STEP grant provides partial reimbursement for international trade show expenses
*Submit your application at least 30 days before the show.
- 50% reimbursement of trade show expenses, up to $10,000
- A travel stipend for 1 staff per company (importers, in-country reps, and distributors are NOT eligible for the stipend)
- International: $2,000
- Domestic: $500
*All air travel must comply with the Fly America Act which requires international destination flights on a U.S. Flag Carrier. Contact ExportMontana with questions.
Eligible Trade Shows
- International trade shows (shows outside the USA – yes, Canada is considered an international market)
- Some domestic shows (shows within the USA), if you are exhibiting at the show to find new international buyers
Eligible Small Businesses
To be eligible for the Montana STEP grant, you must:
- have been in business for more than 1 year
- meet the SBA’s definition of a small business
- market products that are of U.S. origin or have at least 51% U.S. content
- show in the STEP application your understanding of the costs associated with exporting and doing business with foreign purchasers, including the costs of freight forwarding, customs brokers, packing and shipping, etc.
- agree to provide the program with export activities/results from the grant activities
- International Travel Stipend
- Exhibit space fees and registration
- Booth rental
- Booth production (cannot exceed $5000)
- Display elements (graphics, banners, signs, racks, decorations, lighting)
- Booth furnishings (table, chairs)
- Shipping and storage (drayage, freight, exhibit storage); up to $4,000
- Show services (set-up and tear down, utilities, card reader, security) and
- Trade show promotional literature
*If an anticipated cost is not listed above, contact ExportMontana to ensure eligibility.
- Creation of or supplementing a reserve or contingency fund or account
- Match or support for any other Federal projects
- Entertainment costs, including meals, alcohol, parties, receptions, mixers, or other social activities, or tickets to shows or sporting events
- Souvenirs, models, imprinted clothing, buttons, gifts, prizes, promotional items, mementos, scholarships, contributions, donations, or similar gratuitous transfers (whether in the form of cash, property, or services)
- Membership fees or dues in any business, technical, trade, professional, civic, community, country club, social or dining organization (whether in the name of the recipient organization or an individual)
- Fund-raising (including, but not limited to, soliciting funding or contributions or raising investment capital from individuals, public/private organizations, or government entities)
- Lobbying or "grassroots" advocacy activities (including the endorsement or opposition of political parties, candidates, initiatives, referenda, petitions, or the cost of protests or demonstrations) directed at any level or branch of government
- Employee or owner salaries or compensation
- Indirect costs or depreciation; bid and proposal costs; legal expenses; fines, penalties and mischarging costs
- Any cost not directly related to international trade development and preapproved by this program
Montana STEP grant is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration.