CA STEP Individual Company Export Promotion Program


CA STEP will provide direct financial assistance to eligible small businesses under the ICEP, by reimbursement of qualified, reasonable and necessary expenses for the selected export promotion activity. The ICEP program provides up to $3,000.00 per approved company/per year for qualified export promotion costs.

Applications are open through June 31 for reimbursement of export related promotion expenses on activities completed between May 1 and December 31, 2020. Qualifying California small businesses can receive up to $3,000 through the California STEP Individual Company Export Promotion (ICEP) Program. Details

Step-by-step processes to receive direct financial assistance

  1. Company must complete a CA STEP registration online at, and meet the eligible small business qualifications as required by the Self-representation form. Select “Individual Company Export Promotion (ICEP)” in the event drop down menu.
  2. Company must complete and upload the ICEP Questionnaire (the registration web form will request you to upload an executive summary in Microsoft Word [.doc or .docx] or Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] to CA STEP about the export promotion activity they are requesting assistance with.
  3. Download, sign, and then upload the SBA Eligible Small Business Concern document.
  4. Submit

*Approved companies will be notified via email with 21 days of submission.

ICEP funds, if approved, can be used for the following:

  1. Registration fees and booth space for international trade shows (event is located outside of the United States)
  2. Trade Mission fees
  3. Cost of compliance testing an existing product for entry into an export market (maximum of $2,000.00)
  4. Subscription fees to U.S. Department of Commerce export promotion services (e.g. Gold Key)
  5. Shipment of Samples to a trade event (up to $2,000.00 maximum)
  6. Website translation into foreign language, search engine optimization, localization services (maximum of $3,000.00)
  7. Other non-travel related expenses necessary to implement activity, as per CA-STEP discretion, and subject to eligibility per STEP program.

ICEP Questionnaire Requirements

You must submit the ICEP Questionnaire (which you can download from the registration page at by providing answers in a Question and Answer format detailing the export opportunity and its potential impacts on your form.

Please Note: The application review period takes approximately 3 weeks (average 10 days).


CA STEP ICEP Program Information

For assistance with your Registration and/or Executive Summary, please contact:

Jeff Williamson
Director, California STEP

Diana Dominguez
Special Advisor for International Trade
International Affairs and Business Development
Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)

Additional requirements and restrictions apply.

Only those activities and costs approved will be eligible for reimbursement, and will only be paid against an approved ICEP request and purchase order. Additionally,

  1. In order for a cost to be eligible for reimbursement, the ICEP application must have been approved in advance of the date of the activity for which reimbursement is sough
  2. The ICEP recipient must confirm that the receipts presented for reimbursement are not being submitted for reimbursement from any other source
  3. CA STEP will process only ONE reimbursement per company/per year.

NOTE: Travel expenses will NOT qualify for reimbursement

*Reimbursements awards will be considered based on the availability of funds, on a first-come first-served basis or until the budget is exhausted, whichever comes first. Funding is not an endorsement of any product, opinion, or service. All federal and state funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. 

The STEP program is funded in part though a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).