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Exporting Assistance

The Export Promotion Program

West Virginia boasts a diverse portfolio of materials used in unique applications throughout the world. Thread manufactured in West Virginia decorates the lapels of the Queen’s Guard in Great Britain. Fine china made in the northern panhandle graces the tables of homes, restaurants and hotels around the world. Travelers in Dubai’s airport terminal are sheltered by stretched steel formed and rolled by mountaineers. Commercial and private planes come to our state from around the country for precision maintenance. Hundreds of millions of car parts contain polymers developed and manufactured in West Virginia.

These successfully exported products are due in large part to the Export Promotion Program, which helps companies navigate the global marketplace, providing support, counseling and connections.

The services offered through the Export Promotion Program provide the strong framework needed for companies to grow and expand internationally.

Trade Shows & Missions

About the Benefits

Trade Shows and Missions allow you to explore a new market and display your product to an international audience without the high cost of exhibiting. Whether your company is looking to find an agent, distributor, end user or other contacts in a new market, trade shows and missions are a customizable service that allow you to set your priorities and maximize your efforts.


Trade Shows

  • Industry specific
  • Custom designed graphic panel in booth
  • Interpreter(s) onsite
  • Translated one-page brochure
  • Shared, private meeting space in booth
  • Transportation to and from hotel/airport
  • VIP Networking Reception


Trade Missions

  • Focused on established and emerging markets
  • Open to all industries
  • 4-6 business appointments per day
  • Interpreters provided (if necessary)
  • Transportation to and from appointments
  • Market briefing with U.S. Commercial Service
  • VIP Networking Reception


Ready to get started?

Get help from one of our International Trade Representatives.


Export Assistance Program

About the Program

This export assistance program, called West Virginia First STEP-Next STEP, provides funding to West Virginia small businesses looking to enter (first step) or expand (next step) in the global marketplace. Exporting benefits include faster sales growth, job creation, continuous innovation and risk mitigation against economic downturns.

Dates Available

October 1, 2018 through September 29, 2020

Programs Available

 First STEP-Next STEP offers four different programs under this grant – Export Promotion Program, the International Trade Exhibition Program (currently closed), West Virginia Trade Show Pavilions, and the Market Finder Reimbursement.

Governor’s Commendation for International Market Entry Award

More commonly referred to as the Governor’s Export Awards, this honor is given to companies within West Virginia that sold for the first time to a new country in the previous calendar year. To commemorate the sale, award winners receive a plaque framing the currency of the country to which they sold. Companies are encouraged to reach out to the Export Assistance Program Trade Managers see if they qualify for this award.


Want to learn more?

Find detailed information about each of the programs offered through First STEP-Next STEP.


Other Export Assistance Services


The West Virginia Department of Economic Development guarantees that you have the data you need and the opportunities you desire for optimal success. Along with our trade shows/missions and our Export Assistance Program, we offer continued support through Market Research and Export Counseling.

Market Research

The West Virginia Department of Economic Development offers customized market research upon request. We work in partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service to compile data and research reports from multiple sources to give your company a complete assessment of your potential in international markets.

Export Counseling

Our Export Assistance Team provides guidance and solutions for a variety of exporting challenges. From addressing concerns like getting paid, to more complex questions like determining your level of responsibility regarding export compliance, our Trade Managers can guide your company through the export process, and when necessary, connect you with key industry professionals to provide support. 


Ready to get started?

Get help from one of our International Trade Representatives to learn more about Export Counseling Delegations or Market Research.


Thriving Industries

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