Export Grants Available

Wisconsin businesses aiming to grow or jump-start export success can apply for grants of up to $25,000.

The money comes through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to help cover expenses in navigating global trade. Applications for International Market Access Grants are open through March 15: https://wedc.org/

Vice President of Global Trade and Investment Katy Sinnott says the money helps strengthen businesses’ footing in the international marketplace.

“With a proven track record among more than 400 past grant recipients, the grants help broaden their reach and grow sales with lower financial risk to the company,” she says.

To apply, a Wisconsin company must have been in operation for at least a year. It must have annual revenues less than $100 million. And, it must manufacture, process, assemble, or distribute a product or offer services able to be exported. Wisconsin cost inputs must make up at least 35 percent of the value of an exported product or service. Companies must match 30 percent of the grant funding received.

Recipients can be reimbursed for trade show attendance, marketing and promotion, export education, and consulting services. In their proposals, applicants should focus on a single country or small group of nations with a clear reasoning for targeting the area. They should strategically identify activities that will advance their export goals.

Past recipients report that the grants provided an important boost for their export efforts. For example, the West Salem-based MacDonald & Owen Veneer and Lumber Co. used grant funding to gain international exposure.

“We were able to get to more trade shows because of those grants,” says Clint West, the firm’s CEO. “We were able to completely catapult the business into a broader market space.”