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Dc Step Program Application Form - April 2012

Dc Step Program Application Form - April 2012

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Published by: bizDC on Apr 11, 2012
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DC STATE TRADE EXPORT PROMOTION (STEP) PROGRAMPROGRAM APPLICATIONAPRIL 2012Program Purpose
The DC State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) Program is an initiative funded by the District of Columbia and the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the NationalExport Initiative to double U.S. exports by 2015. The purpose of the DC STEP initiative is toincrease exports and create jobs in the District of Columbia by helping small businesses expandinto new international markets. DC STEP Program funds will reimburse participant companiesfor eligible activities associated with new international marketing initiatives.
Instructions
Before completing the Export Readiness Assessment and the STEP Program Application form,please read carefully the Guidelines for Funding and the Eligibility Criteria on the followingpages. To qualify for the DC STEP Program, an applicant must meet two sets of eligibilitycriteria:1.
 
DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) criteria, and2.
 
SBA/Federal criteriaIf you have any questions about the STEP Program and/or application, please contact:Martha LaCrosse, Director, ExportDCTel: 202-741-0858Email: martha.lacrosse@dc.gov. 
Application requirements
In order to be considered for the DC STEP Program, all applicants are required to submit thefollowing documents:
 
A signed original application is required from each candidate (when completed, pleaseprint form for signature)
 
Export Readiness Assessment (12 questions)
 
Strategic Export Plan
 
SBA
Self Representation as an “Eligible Small Business Concern”
 
 
SBA Debarment Certification Form
 
DSLBD Self Certification Form (DC eligibility criteria)
 
DSLBD Clean Hands Self Certification Form
 
Attach copy of DC License (DCRA) and DC Registration (OTR)
Remittance of Documents
 
Please send a scanned copy of all required documents to martha.lacrosse@dc.gov 
 
Remit all required documents by certified mail or courier service to:DC Department of Small and Local Business DevelopmentAttn: Ms. Martha LaCrosse, Director, ExportDC441 4
th
Street NW, Suite 970NWashington, DC 20001
 
 
 
Guidelines for Funding
 
STEP application must be received six weeks prior to commencement of activities.
 
Reimbursement for eligible expenses is not guaranteed until notice of acceptance into theSTEP Program.
 
STEP awards are administered on a first-come, first-served basis and are contingent uponavailability of funds.
 
STEP awards will be based on the overall quality of the export-related activity, asdetermined by the Export DC review committee.
 
After the costs are incurred, the participating company will be reimbursed uponsubmission of the following to the DC Department of Small and Local BusinessDevelopment:
-
 
Invoice on company letterhead
-
 
Proof of payment (receipts, cancelled checks, credit card statements, wire transfers)
-
 
Proof of activity (photographs, participation agreements, mission itinerary, etc.)
Eligibility Criteria (DC DSLBD Requirements)
 
Company operates a business concern in the District of Columbia to manufacture,assemble, and/or distribute a product or provide an exportable service.
 
Principal office in the District of Columbia for at least six months prior to STEP Programapproval
 
Licensed and Registered in the District of Columbia*
 
Company is in good standing with the DC Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) and submitsClean Hands Self Certification Form
 
Eligible activities (e.g. trade mission travel, export training programs, businessmatchmaking services) must be executed by direct employees of the company.
 
The DC STEP program requires the application to be signed by a corporate officer,certifying that the eligibility criteria will be met.
 
The applicant agrees to submit a detailed report that illustrates the initial results andoverall effectiveness of their project no later than September 30, 2012. A follow-upreport will be required at six-month intervals.
*Guidelines on business license and registration in the District of Columbia:Businesses eligible for the DC STEP Program must submit a copy of their Basic Business License, issued by the DCDepartment of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), along with a copy of their registration issued by the DCOffice of Tax and Revenue (OTR). Business entities whose principals are required to maintain professionallicensure by a local, state or national certification board or body will not be required to obtain a Basic BusinessLicense. The DC Department of Small and Local Business Development reserves the right to request additionaldocuments to
substantiate a firm’s
credentials in the District of Columbia (DC and federal tax returns, FR-500 form,copy of lease, rental agreement, etc.)
 
 
Additional Eligibility Criteria (SBA/Federal Requirements)
 
Company must have an exportable product or service at time of application.
 
Company asserts that it meets the requirements of the Small Business size regulations setforth by the SBA (see Appendix for further information).
 
Company has been in business for not less than the one-year period ending on the date onwhich assistance will be provided under a STEP grant.
 
Company is operating profitably, based on operations in the United States
from the firm’s
 most recently completed fiscal year.
 
Company has demonstrated an understanding of the costs associated with exporting anddoing business with foreign purchasers, including the costs of freight forwarding,customs brokers, and packing and shipping.
 
Company has in effect a strategic plan for exporting (see Appendix for guidelines).
 
The products to be exported must contain a majority of U.S. content (51% or higher).
 
Company agrees to abide by the Fly America Act
*
when utilizing STEP funds for airtravel expenses (requirement to use U.S. flag air carrier unless exception applies).
 
Company attests that it shall not knowingly enter into any lower tier covered transactionwith a person in the Excluded Parties List System (see SBA Debarment Certificationform**). For further information about the Excluded Parties List System, go tohttps://www.epls.gov
 .
 
*
Fly America ActIn most circumstances, the Fly America Act requires that individuals whose travel is paid for with federal grantfunds fly on U.S. flag air carriers. (Such carriers include American, United, Delta, US Airways, etc.). For thisreason, the Fly America Act is applicable to travel by STEP Program recipients. However, there are severalexceptions that enable travel on non-U.S. flag air carriers. See Appendix for further information.**Debarment Certification FormThe federal government cannot do business with contractors or grant recipients that have been debarred orsuspended. Thus, it requires that contractors and grant recipients certify their own eligibility for federal contractsand grants by completing a Debarment Certification.

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