STEP '18 Application Portal
Connecticut, through the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), has been awarded a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The grant runs from October 2018 through September 2020. Through this grant, DECD has created an Export General Assistance Fund (GAF) to increase the number of eligible small businesses (ESBCs) that export, increase the value of exports by ESBCs and increase the number of ESBCs exploring significant new trade opportunities.
Eligible activities include trade shows, trade missions, marketing and internationalization, U.S. Department of Commerce services (Gold Key, International Partner Search, International Company Profile), export training opportunities, and export B2B matchmaking.
In addition to GAF, DECD offers STEP reimbursement to eligible Connecticut Companies that participation in Connecticut Sponsored exhibitions at Medica 2018, Hannover H2FC 2019, and the Paris Air Show 2019.
First, review the STEP Program Guidelines
Please review the STEP FY '18 Program Guidelines before beginning the application process.
Second, Set Up An Account
You will need a FluidReview account to apply. If you have registered in the past for FluidReview, please use your previous account login and password. For new users, please click on the Sign-Up button to create your new account. Then click on the link provided in the activation email sent to your registration email address. This will activate your account and allow you to log in to complete the application process. Once you have completed this step, you can sign back in and make changes at any time.
Next, Select Your Activity
Select Medica 2018, Hannover Messe H2FC 2019, Paris Air Show 2019, or General Assistance Fund FY '18 from the drop-down box.
Then, Complete and Sign Application Forms
Six forms are required to complete the process. One will be completed online. The other five require you to download, complete them offline, provide a handwritten signature and upload your forms back to the system.
1. Complete the online Application Form for your Selected Activity
2. Download and complete the:
- Self-Certification Form
- Debarment Form
- Agency Vendor Form
- W-9 Forms
- Strategic Export Plan (template provided)
Your STEP FY '18 application materials will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis. Pending the availability of Connecticut STEP FY '18 funds, 'eligible small business concerns' that complete an application prior to their proposed activity and have a planned export activity or event that meets the criteria set forth in the Program Guidelines, will be notified via email that their reimbursement request has been approved.
Execute Your Planned Export Event / Activity
Once approved, execute your planned activity as outlined in your STEP FY '18 application and projected budget.
Submit all reimbursement request documentation to DECD within (2) weeks of a completed activity and no later than October 13, 2019. No partial reimbursement requests will be accepted.
You will need to log back into www.stepgrant.fluidreview.com to complete your reimbursement request. There you will be asked to submit:
- Post-Activity Report/Survey;
- Receipts documenting payment for all registrations, service fees and other costs associated with your approved STEP FY '18 activity (i.e. bank statements, check stubs, invoive with a zero balance); and
- STEP Grant Activity Invoice to request payment of your reimbursement from DECD.
If you have any questions, please contact:
If you have any technical questions about how to use the site, please contact and the software application provider who can help address your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.