The Guam State Trade Expansion Program (Guam STEP), funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, is intended to assist eligible small businesses enter and succeed in the international marketplace. The program’s objectives are to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and to increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting.

Guam STEP provides eligible small businesses with comprehensive export training, financial assistance for new to export and/or market expansion activities, and access to international markets. Guam STEP has several components:

  1. Export Readiness Program (ERP)
  2. International Marketing Program (IMP)
  3. Export Market Research and Outreach Services
  4. Virtual Reverse Trade Mission

If you would like to inquire information about this program or are interested in participating, please contact the Business and Economic Development Division at 671-647-4332.

Application Process

GEDA is currently no longer accepting applications for Guam STEP at this time.

If you have any questions please email us at step@investguam.com.

Eligibility

Businesses must meet the following requirements to participate in Guam STEP:

  • Meet the federal requirements of an Eligible Small Business Concern
    • Is organized or incorporated in the United States;
    • Is operating in the United States;
    • Meets
      • The applicable industry-based small business size standard established under section 3 of the Small Business Act; or
      • The alternate size standard applicable to the program under section 7(a) of the Small Business Act and the loan programs under title V of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 (15 U.S.C. 695 et seq.);

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards are found at 13 C.F.R. Part 121. Use the following sba.gov link for information on size standards for your business (https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-guide/size-standards).

  • Has been in business for not less than 1 year, as of the date on which assistance using a grant under this subsection commences; and
  • Has access to sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade, including the costs of packing, shipping, freight forwarding, and customs brokers.
  • Registered to do business in Guam
  • Certify that your company is not barred from receiving federal funds
  • Must be an export-ready U.S. company seeking to export goods or services of U.S. origin or that has at least 51% U.S. content

Benefits 

  • Access to export training workshops and business counselling
  • Access to financial assistance and incentives to implement export strategies
  • Access to the Gold Key Services through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration
  • Eligible to participate in international trade shows and foreign trade missions
  • New to export and/or market expansion opportunities
  • Boosted revenue

The Guam STEP Export Readiness Program (ERP) is a training and counseling program to assist eligible small businesses begin or expand their export market development and sales. The program includes a series of export training workshops and webinars as well as one-on-one business counseling offered by the Guam Small Business Development Center. Participants who have completed the full training curriculum and developed an export plan will be considered through a competitive selection process to receive an economic incentive of up to $2,230 to start the implementation of their export strategies.
For previous trainings, please click here
The Guam STEP International Marketing Program (IMP) provides financial assistance for eligible small businesses to build a global brand and better engage international markets through the following strategies:
  • E-Commerce: direct financial assistance up to $10,000 is available to six (6) eligible small businesses to develop or expand their ability to implement e-commerce export activities. Activities covered include:
    • Design and development of website, with an international focus
    • Oversight and maintenance and monitoring fees for search engine optimization
    • Online market listing fees
    • E-commerce platform fees, including hosting and/or maintenance fees
    • Expenses to set up websites to accept international payments
  • Marketing Media Design: direct financial assistance up to $5,000 is available to six (6) eligible small businesses to aid them in the design of international marketing media material to strengthen export sales potential, ability to reach target audiences, and/or expand market opportunities. Activities covered include:
    • Design of digital international marketing, which will include all forms and channels of social media and digital ad placements
    • Translation of marketing media, including audio and video
    • Advertisements in international magazines and other appropriate media approved in advance by SBA
    • Brochures, newspapers, posters, billboards
    • Other related activities including virtual business to business roundtables, initial set-up fees for trademark certification, and initial set up fees and registration for trademark certification
The Guam STEP Export Market Research and Outreach Services will cover the costs of up to six (6) eligible small businesses to utilize the Gold Key Services through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. The Gold Key Service provides U.S. companies with matchmaking appointments up to five interested partners in a foreign market. The full service includes identification and outreach to potential matching firms, sending client’s information to identified matching firms, preparing a profile of interested firms, attending the appointments and providing a report with the profile and contact information for interested firms.
GEDA plans to host a virtual reverse trade mission in 2021 to connect local eligible small businesses with potential international buyers. Interested participants will be required to attend several workshops leading up to the event and must have a completed export plan. Check back for updates.

What are the objectives of the Guam State Trade Expansion Program?

The program’s objectives are to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and to increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting. Guam STEP provides eligible small businesses with comprehensive export training, financial assistance for new to export and/or market expansion activities, and access to international markets.

Am I eligible for the Guam State Trade Expansion Program?

Businesses must meet the following requirements to participate in Guam STEP:
  • Meet the federal requirements of an Eligible Small Business Concern
  • Registered to do business in Guam
  • Certify that your company is not barred from receiving federal funds
  • Must be an export-ready U.S. company seeking to export goods or services of U.S. origin or that has at least 51% U.S. content

What is an Eligible Small Business Concern (ESBC)?

Section 503 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 defines the term 'eligible small business concern,’ as a business concern that:
  1. Is organized or incorporated in the United States;
  2. Is operating in the United States;
  3. Meets
    • The applicable industry-based small business size standard established under section 3 of the Small Business Act; or
    • The alternate size standard applicable to the program under section 7(a) of the Small Business Act and the loan programs under title V of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 (15 U.S.C. 695 et seq.);
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards are found at 13 C.F.R. Part 121. Use the following sba.gov link for information on size standards for your business (https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-guide/size-standards).
  1. Has been in business for not less than 1 year, as of the date on which assistance using a grant under this subsection commences; and
  2. Has access to sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade, including the costs of packing, shipping, freight forwarding, and customs brokers.

What trainings does the Guam State Trade Expansion Program provide?

The Guam Economic Development Authority is partnering with the Guam Small Business Development Center to provide Guam STEP participants with a series of export-related trainings that include but are not limited to the following:
  • Why Should I Export and Am I Ready
  • Introduction to Exporting
  • Digital Marketing and E-Commerce for Exports
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance for Exports
  • Logistics for Exporting
  • Financing Options for Exporting
  • Trade Show and Trade Mission Preparation

What are the benefits of participating in the Guam State Trade Expansion Program?

Benefits to Guam STEP participants include:
  • Access to export training workshops
  • Access to financial assistance and incentives to implement export strategies
  • Access to “Gold Key Service” through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration
  • Eligible to participate in international trade shows and foreign trade missions
  • New to export and/or market expansion opportunities
  • Boosted revenue

What is the Gold Key Service?

The Gold Key Service provides U.S. companies with matchmaking appointments with up to five interested partners in a foreign market. The full service includes identification and outreach to potential matching firms, sending client’s information to identified matching firms, preparing a profile of interested firms, attending the appointments and providing a report with the profile and contact information for interested firms.   

Are there any costs to participate in the Guam State Trade Expansion Program?

Trainings will be provided at no cost to all Guam STEP participants. Access to the Gold Key Service will be provided at no costs to selected export-ready STEP participants. STEP participants taking part in any trade show or trade mission may be required to cover some costs.

How can I assess my company’s readiness for export?

If you are unsure of your company’s readiness for export, take the Exporter Assessments provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. Assessments for New Exporters, Expanding Exporters, and Experienced Exporters will assist you in identifying your company’s next steps to export.

How can I apply?

Interested eligible Guam businesses must submit the following application and supplemental documents:
  • Guam State Trade Expansion Program Client Application Form
  • Guam State Trade Expansion Program Interest Form
  • SBA Self-Representation as an “Eligible Small Business Concern’ Form
  • SBA Form 1623 “Certification Regarding Debarment” Form
The Guam STEP application form and supplemental forms can be downloaded at www.investguam.com.

Applications may be submitted via email at step@investguam.com.

How is the Guam State Trade Expansion Program funded?

The Guam State Trade Expansion Program is funded in part through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.