The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) is participating in a virtual export mission to introduce Colorado outdoor recreation products and services to the Canadian market.
Every year, our Global Business Development division identifies strategic trade shows to showcase Colorado’s many economic strengths. The benefit of attending a trade show with OEDIT is that we pay all booth costs and exhibitor fees, and companies that exhibit at our booth receive a travel stipend to attend the show.
In Canada, 7 of every 10 Canadians engage in outdoor recreation and activities and the sporting goods retail market is estimated to be $5.4 billion. During the pandemic, the popularity of outdoor activities has increased making it a great location for Colorado outdoor companies to expand their products.
Participating companies will receive one-on-one consultations with Canadian consulting firm CIDEP to research the market specifically for their product and provide matchmaking with interested Canadian companies. Companies will also be briefed on the outdoor recreation market in Canada, the largest buyers and key players, and the best strategies to get their product into the market.
Small outdoor recreation companies will need to apply to join the virtual export mission at no cost through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). Interested companies should contact OEDIT’s Nicole Gunkle.
Apply now for STEP funding
To qualify for the State Trade Expansion Program, your company will need to:
- be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State and in Good Standing
- have headquarters in Colorado or have at least 50% of your employees based in Colorado
- be a U.S. company seeking to export goods or services of U.S. origin or with at least 51% U.S. content
- be at least one year old as of the date you would begin using STEP grant funds
- be new to export or expanding to a new export market
- have a commercialized product or service to export
- be export-ready (see below)
- meet the applicable industry-based small business size standard established by the U.S. Small Business Administration
Applications for the State Trade Expansion Program are open through mid-May or until it fills up. Apply online in the OEDIT application portal. Log in to your account or create a new account. To protect your personal information, we manually add new users to the portal, so it may take several days to activate your account.
Other international business development opportunities
The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) offers a number of ways outside of trade missions to support Colorado businesses in their efforts to expand internationally. The max amount a company can receive in a year is $15,000, and can be used for any of these global business development activities, including but not limited to:
- consulting services through our Global Consultant Network
- attending trade shows
- holding international business meetings
- researching new markets
- updating marketing materials for new markets
- compliance testing
These U.S. Commercial Service programs, all of which are virtual, are also eligible for STEP funding.
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