Hawaii State Trade Expansion Program (HiSTEP)

HiSTEP Overview

HiSTEP LogoThe world is open for business… your business! Today it’s easier than ever for companies, regardless of size, to sell goods and services across the globe. Hawaii is an internationally recognized brand that helps make its products and services attractive to buyers throughout the world.

Funded in part through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Hawaii’s State Trade Expansion Program, known as HiSTEP, is a comprehensive program designed to assist Hawaii small businesses with their export development. The program is administered by DBEDT and partner organizations in Hawaii.

SBA started STEP in FY 2011 as a three-year pilot program with a goal to increase the number of small businesses that want to export as well as the value of exports for those small businesses that currently export. SBA awards matching-funds STEP grants to states on a competitive basis.

HiSTEP News

 

Infographic for HiSTEP Success Metrics

Click to Enlarge

HiSTEP Benefits

Success metrics for Hawaii-based companies using HiSTEP include, but are not limited to:

  • Expanded exports
  • Boosted revenue
  • Active in more global markets
  • Penetration of new markets

 

 

 

 

HiSTEP Eligibility

Companies must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet the federal requirements of an ‘Eligible Small Business Concern’ (organized or incorporated and operating in the U.S., meet SBA small business size standards, one year in business, has access to sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade)
  • Must be an export-ready U.S. company seeking to export goods or services of U.S. origin or that has at least 51% U.S. content
  • For producers/manufacturers, priority will be given to companies whose Hawaii-made product meets the “Made in Hawaii” designation as defined under Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 468-119, stipulating that the product will have at least 51% of the wholesale value added by manufacture, assembly, fabrication, or production within the State. For service providers, the eligibility requirement is that the company be registered to do business in the State of Hawaii and the service, although for a foreign market, is substantially performed in Hawaii.
  • Certify that your company is not barred from receiving federal funds
  • Be registered in good standing with the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Business Registration Division at vendors.ehawaii.gov
  • Have a current general excise tax license with the State Department of Taxation

 

HiSTEP Registration

  1. Determine if your company meets the Eligibility Requirements
  2. Complete the online HiSTEP application
  3. Download and complete the SBA Self Representation Form and SBA Form 1624, then email both forms to Jamie.K.Lum@hawaii.gov
  4. Download and complete either the Manufacturer Made in Hawaii Valuation Form or the Service Company Valuation Form then email the form to Jamie.K.Lum@hawaii.gov
  5. Review the Exporting Resources page where we gathered videos of past HiSTEP seminars and other useful information on exporting

 

HiSTEP Components

The Hawaii State Trade Expansion Program (HiSTEP) has three integrated components:

  1. HiSTEP – Export Readiness Program (HiSTEP-ERP)
  2. HiSTEP – Hawaii Pavilions (HiSTEP-HP)
  3. HiSTEP – Company Assistance (HiSTEP-CA)

 

1. HiSTEP – Export Readiness Program (HiSTEP-ERP)

Training and business advising program to prepare Hawaii companies to begin or expand their export market development.

The Export Readiness Training is a foundation program that is open to all types of businesses considering exporting. It will cover general background as well as country and issue specific topics. HiSTEP-ERP also includes one-on-one business and export advising in cooperation with DBEDT’s partner organizations. At the conclusion of the program, companies will have a go-to-market strategy and export plan.

The sessions are expected to cover subjects ranging from scaling up operations, to logistics, to managing cultural differences.

2019 HiSTEP Training Seminars

Session NameDate/TimeDescription/VenueRegistration Link
Oahu: HiSTEP Kick-off SeminarThursday
10/25/18
9:00AM-11:00AM
Description
Please join us to learn more about the 2019 HiSTEP Program specifics and how to register. View the Oahu Event Flyer.

Location
Hawaii Foreign Trade Zone No. 9
521 Ala Moana Blvd.
Homer Maxey international Trade Center
Honolulu, HI 96813
Register Online

Remote attendees can join the event via Zoom. Please register online for the zoom webinar.
Maui: HiSTEP Kick-off SeminarMonday
10/29/18
9:00AM-11:00AM
Description
Please join us to learn more about the 2019 HiSTEP Program specifics and how to register. View the Maui Event Flyer.

Location
Maui Research & Technology Center
590 Lipoa Parkway
Conference Room, 1st Floor
Kihei, HI 96753
Register Online
Kona: HiSTEP Kick-off SeminarTuesday
10/30/18
2:30PM-4:30PM
Description
Please join us to learn more about the 2019 HiSTEP Program specifics and how to register. View the Kona Event Flyer.

Location
Hale Iako
73-970 Makako Bay Drive
NELHA (OTEC) Campus
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Register Online
Hilo: HiSTEP Kick-off SeminarTuesday
10/30/18
9:00AM-11:00AM
Description
Please join us to learn more about the 2019 HiSTEP Program specifics and how to register. View the Hilo Event Flyer.

Location
Hawaii Innovation Center at Hilo (HICH)
117 Keawe Street
Conference Room
Hilo, HI 96720
Register Online

Kauai: HiSTEP Kick-off SeminarThursday
11/01/2018
9:00AM-11:00AM
Description
Please join us to learn more about the 2019 HiSTEP Program specifics and how to register. View the Kauai Event Flyer.

Location
Kauai War Memorial Convention Exhibition Hall
4191 Hardy Street
Lihue, HI 96766
Register Online
Learn the Secrets to the Success and Popularity of the Hankyu Umeda Hawaii Fair!Friday
11/9/18
8:00AM-2:00PM
Description
DBEDT is very pleased to present this seminar and matchmaking event in partnership with the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJCC). The annual Hankyu Hawaii Fair attracts over 250,000 Japanese consumers over 7 days, to purchase food, apparel, gift and jewelry items that are made in Hawaii. Hear directly from the event organizers and buyers how they select, merchandise and promote Hawaii.

Location
Manoa Grand Ballrooms
2454 South Beretania Street
Register Online
Export University 101Tuesday
12/04/2018
Description
A comprehensive training seminar that will help you learn the nuts and bolts of exporting while developing a global strategy for your business.

Location
Hawaii Foreign Trade Zone No. 9
Homer Maxey international Trade Center
Coming soon...
Scaling Up Operations for ExportingThursday
01/10/2019
9:00AM-11:00AM
Description
As Hawaii companies expand into global markets, attention needs to be paid to meeting increased orders (manufacturing) and establishing procedures to service customers overseas. Learn what to do when your business receives a large order and needs to ramp up your production capabilities.

Location
Hawaii Foreign Trade Zone No. 9
Homer Maxey international Trade Center
Coming soon...
Marketing in Korea, Taiwan, Oceania, EUTuesday or Thursday
02/xx/2019
Description
Learn specific marketing strategies for promoting your brand and driving sales in these overeas markets.

Location
Hawaii Foreign Trade Zone No. 9
Homer Maxey international Trade Center
Coming soon...
E-Commerce Solutions for Hawaii CompaniesTuesday or Thursday
03/xx/2019
9:00AM-11:00AM
Description
Leverage inexpensive technology to improve your online sales, marketing, shipping, and payments from overseas buyers.

Location
Hawaii Foreign Trade Zone No. 9
Homer Maxey international Trade Center
Coming soon...
Protecting Your Brand When ExportingTuesday or Thursday
04/xx/2019
9:00AM-11:00AM
Description
Learn how to protect your business’s intellectual property, and how to leverage international agreements to protect your IP around the world.

Location
Hawaii Foreign Trade Zone No. 9
Homer Maxey international Trade Center
Coming soon...
Using Trade Shows for New Market ExpansionTuesday or Thursday
05/xx/2019
9:00AM-11:00AM
Description
Trade shows can be an excellent venue to find new buyers, promote your products, and increase awareness of your brand. Learn the do's and don'ts of international trade shows, including preparing for, attending, and turning prospects into buyers after the show.

Location
Hawaii Foreign Trade Zone No. 9
Homer Maxey international Trade Center
Coming soon...
Logistics and Shipping from Hawai to Overseas MarketsTuesday or Thursday
06/xx/2019
9:00AM-11:00AM
Description
Coming Soon...

Location
Hawaii Foreign Trade Zone No. 9
Homer Maxey international Trade Center
Coming soon...

 

2. HiSTEP – Hawaii Pavilions (HiSTEP-HP)

DBEDT and partners such as the Hawaii Department of Agriculture organize groups of Hawaii companies to participate in major trade shows in a Hawaii pavilion. For Hawaii companies seeking to participate in food-focused trade shows, such as FoodEx Japan, please contact Yukashi Smith at the Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture, Yukashi.M.Smith@hawaii.gov. Also, please visit the HDOA website to find a list of food-focused trade shows.

Hawaii Pavilions organized by DBEDT are planned for the following Trade Shows for 2019:

  • DEMA, November 14-17, 2018, Las Vegas, NV
  • Surf Expo, January 10-12, 2019, Orlando, FL
  • BIO International Convention, June 3-6, 2019, Philadelphia, PA
  • Outdoor Retailer, June 17-20, 2019, Denver, CO
  • Hankyu Hawaii Fair, July, 2019, Osaka, Japan
  • Tokyo International Gift Show (TIGS), September 3-6, 2019, Tokyo, Japan

Space is limited and will be on a first come first serve basis. To sign up complete the 2019 HiSTEP Enrollment Application. Note: this selection is for information purposes only. This does not obligate you to a booth, nor does it guarantee space at a Hawaii Pavilion. A program manager will be in contact with the details. DBEDT/BDSD reserves the right to final decision.

 

3. HiSTEP – Company Assistance (HiSTEP-CA)

Please download the application (RFP) on the HANDS website. Application proposals are due January 4, 2019.

HiSTEP-CA assists individual Hawaii companies with export market development costs. Application proposals may request a minimum of $3,000 and a maximum of $7,500.  Award funds will be limited to the following uses:

  1. Airfare (consistent with Fly America guidelines) to approved trade show(s) or multiple buyer meetings (minimum 6 meetings);
  2. Trade show booth rental or trade mission participation fee;
  3. Trade show booth build-out expenses ($3,000 maximum);
  4. Shipping of products to the trade show and return;
  5. Gold Key Service (a program offered by U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service that matches pre-qualified foreign buyers with American companies in markets around the world. More information at: http://2016.export.gov/salesandmarketing/eg_main_018195.asp), or other federal export development programs;
  6. Localization services for collateral materials and website ($3,000 maximum);
  7. Fees for shipping sample products ($2,000 maximum);
  8. Cost of compliance testing an existing product for entry into an export market ($3,000 maximum);
  9. Export Research Tool Subscription used to assist company with market research ($1,000 maximum).

 

To be eligible for HiSTEP-CA the Hawaii company must meet the  SBA’s definition of an “eligible small business concern” including:

  • Company has been in business for not less than one (1) year.
  • Company has access to sufficient resources to bear the costs associated with trade, including the costs of packing, shipping, freight forwarding, and custom brokers.  At a minimum, the company must have annual revenue of more than $200,000 in the previous year.
  • Company certifies that it is not barred from receiving federal funds.
  • Company produces goods or services of U.S. origin or have at least 51% U.S. content.

 

Additional eligibility requirements:

  • Company has a business and export plan.
  • Company is listed as compliant in Hawaii Compliance Express (HCE).
  • For producers/manufacturers, priority will be given to companies whose Hawaii-made product meets the “Made in Hawaii” designation as defined under Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 468-119, stipulating that the product will have at least 51% of the wholesale value added by manufacture, assembly, fabrication, or production within the State.  For service providers, the eligibility requirement is that the company be registered to do business in the State of Hawaii and the service, although for a foreign market, is substantially performed in Hawaii.

 

DBEDT HiSTEP Partners

dbedtDBEDT Business Development & Support Division
sbaSBA Hawaii District Office
hpec
Hawaii Pacific Export Council (HPEC)
sbdcSmall Business Development Center (SBDC)
Logo for Patsy Mink Center for Business and LeadershipPatsy Mink Center for Business and Leadership
doaHawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA)
ftzForeign Trade Zone No. 9
innovate_hawaiiHTDC/INNOVATE Hawaii
uscsU.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center