MCEDC held its Spring Muni Roundtable last week for local municipal economic development managers. The guest speaker was Tom Hulseman, Executive Director of Chicago Metro Exports. (Metro Chicago Exports is an unprecedented collaboration between the seven counties in Northeastern Illinois - Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will) and the City of Chicago.)
The goal of this program is to increase exports from small and medium-sized companies which will ultimately support regional job growth. And while exporting often evokes images of mind-boggling paper work, complex logistics and a host of new costs and headaches, Metro Chicago Exports and MCEDC can help take those first steps into exporting.
Right now, Metro Chicago Exports is offering grants up to $5,000 to small and medium sized companies to help implement an export plan.
Grant funds can be used to cover a myriad of exporting costs including: interpreter services in foreign markets, participation in group and individual trade missions and related costs and fees, professional customer “matchmaking “ services, participation in U.S. Dept. of Commerce certified trade shows and related costs and fees, international certifications, legal fees associated with intellectual property protection, trademark protection and registration, international credit reports, letter of credit fees, web presence/e-commerce, professional translation of marketing collateral and websites, development of international product marketing campaign, economy class international airfare for one individual including related taxes and fees and more.
The grant application is a no brainer, and MCEDC will help complete the short 2 page application. The grant application deadline is May 26, 2017.
If a company has already been exporting to one or two countries, like Canada and Mexico for example, this program can also help find the best countries to expand to and provide assistance as they broaden their reach.
For full information on the program and to follow their roadmap to exporting, visit their website: http://www.metrochicagoexports.com/ or give us a call.
Let us know if we can help!