Illinois Awarded Grant to Support Small Business Exports

Illinois Awarded Grant to Support Small Business Exports

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity announced the Office of Trade and Investment (OTI) received a grant from the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant awarded by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The $890,000 in federal funds will support export growth among Illinois small businesses. Since 2011, the State of Illinois has received a total of $4.8 million in STEP funding from the SBA.

Illinois' State Trade and Export Promotion (ISTEP) program provides small businesses with financial and technical assistance to increase exports. Eligible companies may participate in group trade missions, individual sales missions, receive assistance for product compliance, prepare international marketing campaigns and participate in general export education.

Illinois is the largest exporting state in the Midwest, and the fifth largest exporting state in the country. Illinois companies reported exports of over $59.7 billion in 2016. For companies interested in expanding their global footprint, OTI coordinates participation at international trade shows for a variety of industries, from life sciences and medicine, to green technology, manufacturing and mining.

The ISTEP program is highly competitive. Applications are accepted throughout the year and are considered on a rolling basis. For more information about trade missions and other resources available through the State of Illinois' Office of Trade and Investment, please visit

District Office:
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 925-6580