Export Promotion Program

Entering New Markets

Participating in international trade shows and trade missions is among the most effective ways for companies to enter into new international markets or expand their visibility in existing markets. Trade shows offer the opportunity to meet potential buyers, test market interest and evaluate the competition. A trade mission can be a cost effective way to meet potential distributors and buyers, secure licensing agreements and explore joint venture opportunities.

Funding Available

Funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, money is available to assist Oregon small businesses seeking to begin or grow international sales.

Who is Eligible

Export Promotion Grants are awarded to eligible small businesses that meet the U.S. SBA's definition and can self-certify their eligibility. Small businesses are generally defined as those with 500 or fewer employees. Candidates must evaluate and certify their eligibility by printing and signing the following two SBA forms available in the Toolbox at the right (Self-Representation as an Eligible Small Business Concern, Debarment Certification Form).

Other qualifying criteria:

  • At least 75% of the company's total employees must be employed in Oregon
  • The applicant must promote their own product or service that is export ready and is Oregon manufactured, processed or value-added
  • Company must commit at least one full-time, U.S.-based employee for the duration of the Export Promotion Grant-funded activity
  • For a trade show, the applicant must actively exhibit (e.g., rent a booth space and attend; not just attend), pay the trade show organizer directly for the activity and provide receipts for any allowable expense submitted for reimbursement

Maximum Dollar Value

Export Promotion Grants reimburse up to 50% of a company's eligible expenses up to $5,000. Eligible applicants may receive up to four grants per Federal fiscal year.

Supported Activities

Most export training and development activities are supported by the Export Promotion Program, though specific programs of activity must be developed in consultation with a Global Trade Specialist. Examples of supported activities include:

  • Exhibition at a commercial international trade show
  • Participation in an international trade mission organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Business Oregon or specific STEP Partners/Contractors
  • Web site localization (maximum reimbursement of $3,000)
  • Counseling, match-making, Gold Key or subscription to other services provided by the U.S. Commercial Service
  • Attendance at export seminars or training provided by the U.S. Commercial Service in U.S. locations (maximum reimbursement of $500)
  • Scholarships with the PCC/CLIMB Program for export training also may be available
  • Market research, lead generation, Web development or other counseling services provided by Oregon's overseas representatives

Eligible Reimbursements

Expenses eligible for reimbursement include:

  • Booth: space rental, construction at trade show site, equipment and/or furniture rental, utility costs
  • Trade show or trade mission participation fee
  • Gold Key and other in-market assistance or meeting facilitation as provided by the U.S. Commercial Service
  • Additional industry and market research as provided by Export Promotion Program partners or contractors
  • Freight costs of equipment and/or exhibit materials to and from trade show (maximum reimbursement of $2,000)
  • Translation and production costs of marketing materials, Web sites or e-commerce created for the grant-funded activity
  • Per Diem (lodging and meals, based on U.S. Department of State per diem for the locality) for one employee or agent for the duration of the event plus travel time up to one day before and one day after the actual event
  • Travelers must observe the "Fly America Act" and fly via U.S. flag carriers pursuant to Title 41 C.F.R. Airline-issued boarding passes or passenger receipt must be submitted as documentation. Starting October 1, 2015, international airfare for the grantee's employee to and from an event outside the United States (maximum reimbursement of $500).
  • Ground transportation costs within the hosting locale
  • Registration fees for U.S. Commerce export seminars, workshops or presentations associated with a given export development activity
  • Cost of any additional services or consultation available to participants in conjunction with the event

When To Apply

Applications are processed and awarded on a rolling basis until all funds are expended. Applications should be completed and submitted at least 2 months in advance of the start of any intended activity.

How To Apply

  1. Download, print and sign the following SBA certification forms:
  2. Obtain an Export Readiness score by completing export.gov's online Export Questionnaire.
  3. Complete an online Oregon Export Promotion Program application.

A member of the Global Trade Team will follow up with you to help develop an Export Plan and estimate the value of a potential grant.