WEDC Awarded Federal Grant to Assist Wisconsin Exporters
Funds available for export strategy development and execution
MADISON, WI. Sept. 21, 2015 – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has awarded the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) a $712,000 grant to help Wisconsin companies achieve their export goals. The grant represents the fourth largest amount received by the 40 states approved for a portion of the $17.4 million of funding available through the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program.
WEDC will leverage the funds to help companies take advantage of two of the agency’s export readiness programs.
First, funds from the SBA STEP Program will be made available to ExporTech™ participants. ExporTech is an export acceleration program funded by WEDC and administered by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center. ExporTech helps Wisconsin companies expand their global market reach through guided development of an international growth plan.
ExporTech participants will be able to utilize funds from the SBA STEP Program in increments of $2,500 up to a total of $15,000 to help them implement their export plans. Companies will chose from a list of eligible expense options, including export compliance, translation services, market assessments, trade shows, and partner or distributor searches.
STEP Grant funds are available for exporting activities that take place from October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016. To qualify, companies must meet SBA small business requirements, which for manufacturing companies require fewer than 500 employees and for agricultural companies stipulate annual revenues of less than $7 million.
“Wisconsin leads the nation in its programs designed to help companies expand through global trade,” said Katy Sinnott, vice president of international business development for WEDC, Wisconsin’s lead economic development agency. “Our STEP Grant award is a testament to the effectiveness of Wisconsin’s ExporTech Program and our targeted export promotion strategies.”
WEDC recently expanded its global network to include trade representatives covering 79 countries who are able to provide the insights and contacts needed to fulfill market-specific business development strategies.
For more information about WEDC export assistance, visit InWisconsin.com/export.
About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. WEDC nurtures business growth and job creation by providing resources, technical support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation and international business development. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.
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