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DBEDT News Release: DBEDT Launches 2018 HISTEP Export Promotion Program

Posted on Nov 13, 2017 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) announces the launch of the 2018 Hawaii State Trade Expansion Program (HiSTEP).

The program is a comprehensive initiative designed to help Hawaii small businesses increase their exports, and is administered by DBEDT and partner organizations in Hawaii. It is funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

A series of seminars will be held on all main islands to explain the various services being offered and how companies can register. Company representatives that have previously participated in HiSTEP will be in attendance to share their experiences.

OAHU Kick-off Seminar

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017
Time: 9 – 11 a.m.
Venue: Hawaii Foreign-Trade Zone No. 9, Homer Maxey International Trade Center
Registration: Event is free, but attendees must pre-register at

Seminars will be held on Neighbor Islands as follows:

Island and Venue Date, Time and Registration Link
Hawaii SBDC
Lihue Plantation Building
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017
9 – 11 a.m.
Hale Iako
Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017
9 – 11 a.m.
Hawaii Innovation Center at Hilo (HICH)
– Conference Room
Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Maui Research & Technology Center
Conference Room, 1st Floor
Friday, Dec. 8, 2017
9 – 11 a.m.

Registration: Each event is free, but attendees must pre-register on Eventbrite at the above links.

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

  1. HiSTEP – Export Readiness Program (HiSTEP-ERP): A series of training programs and one-on-one consulting that prepare Hawaii companies to begin or expand their export market development. It will cover subjects ranging from scaling up operations to logistics, as well as country-specific topics. HiSTEP-ERP also includes one-on-one business and export advising provided by our partner organizations.
  2. HiSTEP – Company Assistance (HiSTEP-CA): Direct financial assistance for export market development costs. Application proposals may request a minimum of $3,000 and a maximum of $7,500. The program RFP will be posted on the State Procurement Office website the week of Nov.13, 2017, and may be viewed at
  3. HiSTEP – Hawaii Pavilions (HiSTEP-HP): DBEDT organizes groups of Hawaii companies to participate in major trade shows, subsidizing booth space in a Hawaii Pavilion to introduce potential buyers and distributors. Please see the attached current schedule of shows at


All participants in HiSTEP must complete the online application at: 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, other HiSTEP partners will provide additional business and export mentoring. DBEDT HiSTEP Partners are:

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

“We are pleased to work again with DBEDT and the many Hawaii companies they support through HiSTEP. DBEDT has demonstrated consistent growth in the number of companies assisted, as well as in increasing export sales,” said Jane A. Sawyer, District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Hawaii District Office.

“We are grateful for the continued support from the Small Business Administration,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “Through HiSTEP and our partner organizations, we have helped Hawaii exporters to further grow their sales in overseas markets to nearly $20 million.”

In 2017, we provided:

  • Export training, delivered to 147 companies;
  • Business/export consultation and mentoring services, provided to 72 companies;
  • Direct financial assistance, awarded to 28 companies;
  • Hawaii pavilions, organized and subsidized for 134 companies.

For more information, please see

Media Contact:
Christine Hirasa
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Mobile: (808) 286-9017
Email: [email protected]