DBEDT Launches 2017 HiSTEP Export Promotion Program

Posted on Jan 20, 2017 in News

For Immediate Release: January 20, 2017

HONOLULU—The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) has launched the 2017 Hawaii State Trade Expansion Program (HiSTEP), a multifaceted program designed to assist Hawaii small businesses with their export development.

The program is administered by DBEDT and partner organizations in Hawaii and is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

A training session will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017 to explain in detail the various services being offered and how companies can register:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (8:45 a.m. Registration)

Hawaii Foreign-Trade Zone No. 9, Homer Maxey International Trade Center, ITC Conference Room, 2nd Floor

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

  1. HiSTEP – Export Readiness Program (HiSTEP-ERP): a series of training programs that 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.
  2. HiSTEP – Company Assistance (HiSTEP-CA): direct financial assistance for export market development costs. Application proposals may request a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $15,000. The program RFP has been posted on the State Procurement Office website, and may be viewed at: http://spo3.hawaii.gov/notices/notices/rfp-17-01-bdsd.
  3. HiSTEP – Hawaii Pavilions (HiSTEP-HP): DBEDT organizes groups of Hawaii companies to participate in major trade shows in a Hawaii pavilion to introduce potential buyers and distributors.

All participants must complete the online application at: invest.hawaii.gov/histep-application/. After submitting the application, participants will receive an initial consultation from HiSTEP partner Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to assess their business and export plans. As needed, HiSTEP partner Hawaii Pacific Export Council (HPEC) provide additional export mentoring.

Dennis T. Ling, Administrator of Business Development and Support Branch (BDSD), which plans and executes HiSTEP, stated “We are very pleased to collaborate again in 2017 with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Last year in 2016 we provided direct financial assistance to 58 companies and organized Hawaii Pavilions for 179 participants, leading to actual and projected sales of more than $32.5 million. We have improved HiSTEP for 2017 by increasing the direct consultation for each participant and seek to further strengthen our growing base of exporting companies.”

For more information, please go to invest.hawaii.gov/exporting/histep/.


  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Hawaii District office
  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
  • Hawaii Pacific Export Council (HPEC)
  • Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA)
  • Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 9
  • U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center

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Media Contact:
Christine Hirasa
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Mobile: (808) 286-9017
Website: dbedt.hawaii.gov