State and Local Programs

There are a number of excellent state and local trade assistance programs in our region to help you develop export sales.

California STEP – Small Business Export Program

The California State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) has two goals: Assist small businesses to begin to export, and help companies expand by exporting into new markets. Activities include support for qualified small businesses to participate in:

  • International trade shows
  • Trade missions
  • Other export promotion activities

California STEP is administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GOBiz), supported by a statewide network of STEP Partners to implement a range of export promotion programs serving multiple sectors, including: Information & Telecommunications Technologies, Green Technologies, Aerospace and Defense,  Food and Agricultural Products, California Lifestyle Products, Medical Equipment, Scientific Instrumentation, Transportation Equipment and Industrial Machinery. Contact: Stephen Tachiera, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N. Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, tel: (916) 403-6525, email:

California Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

The California SBDC Program is an extensive network of forty-five small business service centers leading the charge in providing tools and guidance needed to help you realize your potential as an entrepreneur.

The SBDC provides comprehensive business guidance on most business issues, including international trade, and all of the following:

  • best practices for small businesses
  • business plan development
  • start-up basics
  • financing
  • procurement & contracting opportunities
  • regulatory compliance
  • money management
  • manufacturing assistance

To find your local SBDC click here.