California STEP Individual Company Export Promotion (ICEP) Program
** UPDATE: California STEP will be accepting ICEP applications on June 5, 2017; at 8:00am until July 1, 2017 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.
Receive up to $3,000 in ICEP reimbursements to support your exporting needs:
The Individual Company Export Promotion (ICEP) program is a sub-program of California STEP. The ICEP program will be used to reimburse eligible California small businesses up to $3,000 USD for specific export promotion related expenses performed on trade promotion related activities not currently being supported by California STEP. Reimbursement awards will be granted on the availability of funds, on a first-come first-served basis or until the budget is exhausted, whichever comes first.
ICEP Program Quick Facts:
- The ICEP program will reimburse eligible California small businesses up to $3,000 USD for eligible export promotion related expenses.
- ICEP Application Period: June 5, 2017 until funds exhausted or July 1, 2017, whichever comes first.
- Approved activities must be completed between October 1, 2016 – August 31, 2017
- ICEP applications must be submitted a minimum of 35 days in advance of the planned activity.*
- No applications for retroactive activities will be considered for reimbursement.*
- Application processing period: approximately 3 weeks (average 10 days)
* Except for applications with activities taking place between Oct 1, 2016 and November 15, 2016, in which case applications must be submitted by November 15, 2016.
NOTE: There are no match requirements this year; travel and lodging are not eligible for reimbursement.
Is your company eligible?
Qualifying California companies must:
- Be organized or incorporated in the U.S.
- Be operating in the U.S.
- Comply with SBA size standards found at 13 C.F.R. Part 121
- Registered to do business in the State of California and in good standing with
- The California Secretary of State. To check if your business is in good standing, visit http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/; or
- If a company is registered as a sole proprietorship with a fictitious name, the applicant must be registered and in good standing with the county in which the business is located in – if this is the case, a company does not have to file through the Secretary of State.
- Must be in business for at least one year at the time of the approved ICEP activity takes place
- Demonstrate understanding of the costs associated with exporting and doing business with foreign purchasers, including the costs of freight forwarding, customs brokers, packing and shipping.
- Demonstrate export readiness.
- Agree to provide information on export sales data resulting from the ICEP reimbursement funding, and respond to all subsequent STEP surveys on a timely basis. STEP may send surveys every six months, for up to 3 years. By applying for a reimbursement, you are agreeing to respond to these surveys with information on export sales data.
What are the qualifying export expenses?
The ICEP program provides the opportunity for eligible companies to apply for direct financial assistance to implement an export promotion activity(s). Events/activity(s) eligible for reimbursement may include the following and must take place between October 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017:
- Participation fees for foreign trade missions
- Participation fees for export trade show exhibitions
- Participation fees for foreign market sales trips (outside of USA)
- Subscription services from the U.S. Department of Commerce
- Website translations, search engine optimization, localization services
- Design of international marketing media
- Cost of compliance testing of an existing product for entry into a foreign market (maximum of $2,000)
- Shipment of samples to a trade event(s) (up to $2,000 maximum)
- Other export initiatives determined to be appropriate by
STEP NOTE: Traveling, lodging, and meals are not eligible for reimbursement.
How to apply?
Please refer to the California STEP ICEP Program Guidelines. To apply for funding, applicants must:
- Submit STEP registration at citd.org/register indicating interest in the “Individual Company Export Promotion” program at least 35 days in advance of the event for which reimbursement is being sought.
- Submit STEP ICEP registration by July 31, 2017. No ICEP reimbursement applications will be accepted after this date for the program year.