The California State Trade Expansion Program (commonly referred to as STEP) is designed to drive exports for California small businesses. California STEP leverages a statewide network of trade promotion organizations to facilitate export promotion.

For more information and to register, visit California STEP.

California STEP goals are simple:

  • If you are exporting, we’d like to help you export more.
  • If you are not exporting, we’d like to help you get started. 
California STEP can provide information on:
  • Opportunities to connect with overseas buyers
  • How to maximize marketing efforts through overseas trade shows
STEP Helps Small Businesses by:
  • Supporting participation in foreign trade missions
  • Facilitating foreign trade shows and other export promotion activities.


STEP serves California’s top industries

  • Information and communications technology
  • Green technologies
  • Food and agricultural products
  • California lifestyle products
  • Medical equipment
  • Scientific instrumentation
  • Transportation equipment
  • Industrial machinery
  • Other (inquire about ICEP program) 


Basic Qualifications to Participate in California STEP

  • Comply with SBA size standards found at 13 C.F.R. Part 121
  • Have been in business for at least a 1-year period by the date on which assistance is provided
  • Operating and incorporated in the United States
  • Demonstrated understanding of the costs associated with exporting and doing business with foreign purchasers, including the costs of freight forwarding, customs brokers, packing, and shipping
  • Exporting goods or services of U.S. origin or that have at least 51% or more U.S. content. 

California STEP Partners

In the past decade, partners have been recognized by four Presidential “E-awards” for exporting and six U.S. Department of Commerce Market Development Cooperator Awards for carrying out small business export promotion programs. Partners include:

  • California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-BIZ)
  • California Department of Food & Agriculture
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Riverside Community College Center for International Trade Development (CITD)
  • Los Rios Community College Center for International Trade Development (CITD)
  • Southwestern Community College Center for International Trade Development (CITD)

Additional support comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, the US Small Business Administration Office of International Trade, Export Import Bank of the United States, and others


Jeffrey Williamson
California STEP Director 
Riverside Community College District Center for International Trade Development
Phone: 1-714-951-5446

Diana Dominguez
Special Advisor for International Trade & GO-Biz STEP Manager 
California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
Phone: 1-916-322-0645