Louisiana State Trade Expansion Program (LA STEP)

LED’s STEP program will offer travel expense reimbursements of up to 75 percent for new to export companies and up to 50 percent for market expansion companies for total assistance of up to $2,500 per company for attending an approved trade show. Companies may participate in two events during the funding cycle for a maximum benefit of $5,000 (per company) during the 2016-2017 funding cycle. Only trade events from the pre-approved list are eligible for reimbursement.



  • Have been in business for at least one year
  • Operating profitably
  • Be based in Louisiana
  • Have a plan for exporting (strategy)
  • Understand the costs associated with exporting (costs such as freight forwarders, customs brokers, shipping…)
  • Meet the
    SBA definition of a small business
  • Not be debarred from doing business with the Federal Government
  • The company can either be new to export or seeking market expansion

For additional information or to apply for a grant, companies can visit the LA STEP website at www.opportunitylouisiana.com/stepgrant or contact Sheba Person directly at 225-342-2537.

Applications are accepted via email at sheba.person@la.gov or U.S. mail.


LED’s STEP program will offer travel expense reimbursements of up to 75 percent for new to export companies and up to 50 percent for market expansion companies for total assistance of up to $2,500 per company for attending an approved show. Only the below trade shows are allowable for STEP reimbursements.

The following trade shows have been approved by SBA for the 2016-2017 Louisiana STEP Program Cycle.

Feb. 20-22, 2017
San Diego, California

The 2017 National Ethanol Conference: Building Partnerships, Growing Markets provides attendees with an exclusive opportunity to engage key decision makers and industry executives while networking and learning about the latest technologies and government policies. This program will feature government and industry partners working with us to grow the renewable fuels industry. Speakers will address our successes as well as what more we can do together to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports. More networking and business meetings are conducted at this conference than any other ethanol industry event.

March 20-22, 2017
Beijing, China

China International Offshore Oil & Gas Exhibition (CIOOE), is a regular gathering in oil & gas industry, has been held simultaneously with China International Petroleum & Petrochemical Technology and Equipment Exhibition (CIPPE) successfully for fourteen sessions. CIOOE & CIPPE Beijing has successfully attracted 2,000 exhibitors from 65 nations and regions, 18 international pavilions and 80,000 professional visitors. CIOOE & CIPPE have become the largest petroleum exhibition in the world.

March 28-30, 2017
Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico

The Petroleum Exhibition Conference of Mexico (PECOM) is the premier event for the oil and gas industry since 1994, held annually in Villahermosa, Tabasco “The Oil Capital of Mexico.”For 22 years, PECOM has delivered the content, technology, trends, challenges, and opportunities vital to the global energy industry. Furthermore, it provides a meeting point for the national and international oil industry through a major exhibition as well as high-level technical conferences. During 3 days, the event brings together numerous operators and service companies thereby providing the opportunity for professionals and technicians to network, learn and share ideas.

March 29-31, 2017
Ravenna, Italy

OMC is the main Mediterranean meeting for the oil, gas and energy industry. Held every two years in Ravenna, Italy, since 1993, OMC focuses on providing a forum for information and technology exchange, to those people interested in the Mediterranean Offshore Industry. Over three days a wealth of industry professionals and decision makers will share ideas, new research and innovation, highlighting how the oil & gas industry can and must contribute to a sustainable future.

About LA STEP:
STEP is a SBA Program which provides financial awards to state and territory governments to assist small businesses with export development. This program’s mission is to increase the number of U.S. small business exporters and increase their export sales. Through a cooperative agreement with U.S. Small Business Administration, LED received funding in the amount of $160,000 for the Louisiana State Trade Expansion Program (LA STEP) to provide grants to eligible Louisiana small business concerns that are new to export, as well as those businesses who currently sell their goods and services to other countries.