Mountain High Equipment & Supply
Business Oregon provided Mountain High Equipment & Supply with a $2,500 Oregon Trade Promotion grant to help defray costs of the booth fee at the 2009 AERO Friedrichshafen trade show in Germany.
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.
The STEP Program has new funds available to assist Oregon small businesses seeking to begin or grow international sales. Funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, this popular program has helped more than 75 Oregon small businesses attend trade shows and receive export training within the past year. Apply now for grant funds to be used through September, 2013.
STEP 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:
STEP grants reimburse up to 50% of a company's eligible expenses up to $5,000. A company may receive only one STEP grant as of October 1, 2012. Companies who received a STEP grant prior to October 1, 2012, are eligible for a second grant, though some additional programmatic requirements apply.
Most export training and development activities are supported by Oregon STEP, though specific programs of activity must be developed in consultation with a STEP trade specialist. Examples of supported activities include:
Expenses eligible for reimbursement include:
Industry Association Export Grants: Oregon-based trade associations and cluster organizations may apply for up to $5,000 in STEP grant funding to help them organize and lead an international business mission for their member small businesses. Please read the complete instructions (PDF) and email your completed proposal and proposed budget (excel) to Ivo Trummer. This opportunity is open to legally formed non-profit organizations or associations registered to conduct business in Oregon only.
Export Counseling Training: The Oregon STEP Program also will partner with other small business and export assistance providers to offer export training and enhance statewide counseling services. Partnerships will be initiated with:
Applications are processed and awarded on a rolling basis until all funds are expended. Applications should be completed and submitted at least 4–6 weeks in advance of the start of any intended activity, and approved activities must be completed by September 30, 2013.
A member of the Oregon STEP team will follow up with you to help develop a STEP Export Plan and estimate the value of a potential grant.
Oregon's energy costs are among the lowest industrial rates in the U.S. averaging fewer than 5 cents per kilowatt hour in some areas. This is about half of the industrial rates in California.