Financial and technical assistance available for trade show exhibitors, export marketing

Industry trade shows can be a great source for potential customers and business contacts.  Did you know that there’s financial assistance available for small businesses wanting to participate in them? Both Iowa and Illinois offer programs through their respective state economic development divisions to assist businesses with marketing efforts.


The Iowa Economic Development Authority's (IEDA) International Trade Office (ITO), in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), offers financial assistance to support specific export marketing efforts to increase the number of Iowa small business exporters and exports. This includes help for exhibitors in domestic and foreign trade shows, trade mission participants, marketing material development, among others. Click HERE for more details and to see if you qualify.


Illinois’ State Trade and Export Promotion (ISTEP) program provides Illinois’ small businesses with both financial and technical assistance to increase their exports. The ISTEP program includes five ways for Illinois companies to grow their export sales: group trade missions (GTM), individual foreign market sales missions (IFMSM), and product compliance (PC), website localization (WL) and export education program (EEP). Click HERE for more details and to see if you qualify.

Need help finding other resources? Contact Michelle Lewis, Director of Regional Business Development, to discuss options available to help your business succeed.

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