The California State Trade Expansion Program (commonly referred to as STEP) is designed to drive exports for California small businesses. California STEP leverages a statewide network of trade promotion organizations to facilitate export promotion.

For more information and to register, visit California STEP.

California STEP goals are simple:

  • If you are exporting, we’d like to help you export more.
  • If you are not exporting, we’d like to help you get started. 
California STEP can provide information on:
  • Opportunities to connect with overseas buyers
  • How to maximize marketing efforts through overseas trade shows
STEP Helps Small Businesses by:
  • Supporting participation in foreign trade missions
  • Facilitating foreign trade shows and other export promotion activities.

 

STEP serves California’s top industries

  • Information and communications technology
  • Green technologies
  • Food and agricultural products
  • California lifestyle products
  • Medical equipment
  • Scientific instrumentation
  • Transportation equipment
  • Industrial machinery
  • Other (inquire about ICEP program) 

 

Basic Qualifications to Participate in California STEP

  • Comply with SBA size standards found at 13 C.F.R. Part 121
  • Have been in business for at least a 1-year period by the date on which assistance is provided
  • Operating and incorporated in the United States
  • Demonstrated understanding of the costs associated with exporting and doing business with foreign purchasers, including the costs of freight forwarding, customs brokers, packing, and shipping
  • Exporting goods or services of U.S. origin or that have at least 51% or more U.S. content. 

California STEP Partners

In the past decade, partners have been recognized by four Presidential “E-awards” for exporting and six U.S. Department of Commerce Market Development Cooperator Awards for carrying out small business export promotion programs. Partners include:

  • California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-BIZ)
  • California Department of Food & Agriculture
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Riverside Community College Center for International Trade Development (CITD)
  • Los Rios Community College Center for International Trade Development (CITD)
  • Southwestern Community College Center for International Trade Development (CITD)

Additional support comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, the US Small Business Administration Office of International Trade, Export Import Bank of the United States, and others

Contacts:

Jeffrey Williamson
California STEP Director 
Riverside Community College District Center for International Trade Development
Phone: 1-714-951-5446

Diana Dominguez
Special Advisor for International Trade & GO-Biz STEP Manager 
California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
Phone: 1-916-322-0645