Office of International Trade

The Office of International Trade was created by the legislature within the New Mexico Economic Development Department to support job creation, retention, and expansion by assisting New Mexico companies to capitalize on opportunities in the competitive global marketplace.

Success in the export market is critical for small and mid-size companies since it is estimated that 96 percent of consumers are located outside the U.S. By recent estimates companies that export pay higher salaries on average and have reported a 32 percent increase in revenue as opposed to a 19 percent decrease among those companies who only pursue the domestic market.

U.S. Small Business Administration

State of New Mexico State Trade

Expansion Program (STEP)

U.S. Small Business Administration
State of New Mexico State Trade
Expansion Program (STEP)

“Funded in part through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.”

The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) is an export initiative to make matching-fund grants for states to assist “eligible small business concerns,” or ESBCs to enter and succeed in the international marketplace. Services under the STEP Program are funded in part by SBA, but are provided to eligible small business concerns – or “STEP Clients” – by STEP grant recipients located in most US states and territories.

The State of New Mexico was awarded STEP grant funds by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist eligible small business concerns in New Mexico to export their products abroad.  The program offers assistance with booth space, interpreters, export training programs and US Department of Commerce, Gold Key matchmaking services in major markets abroad. Additional eligible activities added to the program in light of COVID-19 travel restrictions and negative impact on small businesses include website optimization for ecommerce and virtual trade shows.

Applications Open October 16, 2023

The New Mexico Economic Development Department has been awarded $200,000 from the SBA for the NM STEP Grant! Eligible companies may request up to $7,500 in export-assistance funds.

About the Program

The program’s objectives are to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and to increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting.

STEP services are managed and provided at the local level by the New Mexico Economic Development Department, Office of International Trade. The program is managed at the national level by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade.

The State of New Mexico is utilizing funding under the STEP grant to assist New Mexico companies with booth fees and assistance for all the trade show, trade mission and Gold Key service activities, as well as for virtual tradeshows and website optimization for ecommerce.

Eligible small business concerns from the State of New Mexico must complete and submit a NM STEP Client Application Form, SBA Certification Form and a Sales Survey which are utilized to determine eligibility for the program and to track sales.

Services provided to small businesses in New Mexico by the Office of International Trade:

For more information or to schedule an international trade consult for your business, please contact Sara Gutierrez at 505-231-4224 or