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International Trade Assistance Grant

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The ITAG program is now accepting applications from eligible small businesses! Submit your application and required documents to the ITAG Program Manager via email at Victoria.Caltagirone@Alaska.Gov. You will receive a confirmation when your application is received.


The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) administers the International Trade Assistance Grant (ITAG) through its Office of International Trade (OIT). This reimbursement-style program seeks to increase the number of small businesses in Alaska that export. The program is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) and is used to help businesses offset the cost of certain export-related expenses.

The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 created the State Trade Expansion Program. Through awards to U.S. states and territories, STEP helps small businesses overcome obstacles to exporting by providing grants to cover costs associated with entering and expanding into international markets. In the past ten years, the SBA has awarded $215.5 million in 388 grants to all 50 U.S. States and six territories. This year, 2023, marks the 11th year of STEP funding awards and the first award for Alaska in six years.

Program Guidelines and Application Materials

Below are links to download the Program Guidelines, Application, Budget Workbook, and Forms:

ITAG Program Guidelines Guidelines
ITAG Program Application Application
ITAG Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) FAQs
Budget Workbook (clicking the link will initiate download of the Excel spreadsheet) Budget Workbook
Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion Form Debarment Certification Form
SBA Self-Representation as an Eligible Small Business Concern Self-Representation Form
DCCED Small Business Survey Small Business Survey


An Eligible Small Business Concern (ESBC) is a company/firm that meets and adheres to the following criteria:

  • A for-profit business headquartered and registered to do business in Alaska.
  • Manufacture, assemble, and/or distribute a product or provide an exportable service. If you are not the manufacturer of the product you must have the rights to export as an authorized distributor.
  • The product(s) or service(s) must be export-ready and already selling in the U.S. market and/or internationally.
  • In business for at least one year.
  • Meets the SBA size standards.
  • Have access to sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade.
  • Have a product or service for export that contains at least 51% United States content (see calculation table within guidelines document).
  • Not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for disbarment, declared ineligible, and/or voluntarily excluded from participation by any federal department or agency.
  • Has a valid Unique Entity ID (UEI) issued by and has an active Registration: Proof provided must show that the business or business owner is not debarred from participation in a grant program by any Federal department or agency.
  • Holds an active business license and entity registration (if applicable) with the State of Alaska.
  • Site visits and/or telephone interviews may be conducted to further determine a company’s eligibility. 
Allowable Uses of Funds:
Participation in foreign trade missions:

A foreign trade mission is defined as travel to a foreign country or participation in a virtual event by companies that will enable them to explore or expand international business opportunities. It can be organized by the state or an outside service provider. As a result of participating in foreign trade missions using grant funds, companies are expected to yield tangible outcomes, such as seeking out potential international buyers and increasing export sales volume.

Subscription services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce:

Grant recipients may elect to utilize the services available from the U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, to assist with entering or expanding their markets; choosing the best market for their products or services; evaluating prospective foreign business partners; increasing market potential; and gold key matchmaking services.

Payment of international website fees:

Grant funds can be used for translating websites into foreign languages, localizing websites to foreign markets, and search engine optimization for foreign markets.

Design of international marketing media:

Marketing media is used to promote a company’s product or service to strengthen its export sales potential, ability to reach its target audience, and/or export market opportunities using brochures, social media platforms, websites, billboards, newspapers, branding and advertising, posters, advertisements in international magazines, or other media approved in advance by DCCED.

International trade show exhibition:

A company can apply for reimbursement to showcase and demonstrate its products and services at an international trade show. This includes foreign trade shows for company export development and domestic trade shows. Special rules apply for domestic trade show participation. Please reach out to the ITAG Program Manager for details.

Participation in export training workshops:

To use grant funds, training workshops and education courses must have a direct benefit to, and assist, companies with gaining credible knowledge of export policies, regulations, and/or best practices. Outcomes, such as export plans, strategies, and best practices handouts should be deliverables.

Procurement of international consultancy services:

This activity is only allowable after company consultation with DCCED and the U.S. Department of Commerce to avoid duplication of services. Eligible expenses can include consultant fees, market research fees, certification and compliance testing fees, and licensing fees.

Other Export Resources

Questions? Please Contact:

Victoria Caltagirone
STEP Program Manager
Phone: 907-269-7396