California STEP Individual Company Export Promotion (ICEP) Program

Receive up to $3,000 in ICEP reimbursements to support your exporting needs:

The 2017-2018 ICEP Program is closed, effective 5/29/2018, due to funding being completely allocated.  Please check back in September 2018 for an update on availability of ICEP Funds for the 2018-2019 fiscal year (beginning on October  1, 2018). Updates will be posted on this page.

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 occurring between October 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018. It is a competitive application, so not all applications will be funded. Reimbursement awards will be granted on the availability of funds, the number of applications submitted and the merits of the application – such as the projected sales resulting from the activity, late, weak, or incomplete applications are ineligible for reimbursement.

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 will open and be effective for the following dates:
    • Round One: November 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019, for activities completed between October 1, 2018 – April 30, 2019.
    • Round Two: April 1, 2019 – July 31, 2019, for activities completed between May 1, 2019 – August 31, 2019.
  • Approved activities must be completed between October 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019
  • ICEP applications must be submitted a minimum of 30 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, 2018 and November 15, 2018, in which case applications must be submitted by December 1, 2018.

NOTE: The following (but not limited to) are not eligible for reimbursement: Travel, lodging, and meal expenses. Additionally, ICEP funds cannot be used in conjunction with any other STEP event.

Is your company eligible?

Qualifying California companies must:

    • Be organized or incorporated in the U.S.
    • Be operating in the U.S.
    • Meets:
      1. The applicable industry-based small business size standard established under section 3 of the Small Business Act; or
      2. The alternate size standard applicable to the program, under section 7(a) of the Small Business Act of 1958 (15 U.S.C. 695 et seq.)
      3. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards found at 13 C.F.R. Part 121. Use the following sba.gov link for information on size standards for your business based on your NAICS code: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Size_Standards_Table_2017.pdf
    • Registered to do business in the State of California and in good standing with
      1. The California Secretary of State. To check if your business is in good standing, visit http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/; or
      2. 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
    • Have sufficient resources to bear the costs associate with trade, including the costs of packing, shipping, freight forwarding, and customs brokers.
    • 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, 2018 and August 31, 2019:

  • Participation fees for international trade missions that support U.S./California exports.
  • Participation fees for international export trade show exhibitions
  • Export research tool subscriptions used to assist STEP clients with market research (up to $1,000 maximum)
  • Website translations, search engine optimization, localization services (up to $1,000 maximum)
  • Cost of compliance testing of an existing product for entry into a foreign market (maximum of $2,000)
  • Fees for shipment of sample products internationally (up to $2,000 maximum)
  • Other export initiatives determined to be appropriate by

 

NOTE: The following (but not limited to) are not eligible for reimbursement: Travel, lodging, and meal expenses.

How to apply?

Please refer to the California STEP ICEP Program Guidelines. To apply for funding, applicants must:

  • Submit STEP registration at californiaexport.org/register indicating interest in the “Individual Company Export Promotion” program at least 30 days in advance of the event for which reimbursement is being sought.
  • Submit STEP ICEP registration by July 31, 2019. No ICEP reimbursement applications will be accepted after this date for the program year.