JPMorgan Chase reduces annual M7 export funding to $100,000

Grant program matches international business investments

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JPMorgan Chase has committed $100,000 to the Export Development Grant Program administered by The Milwaukee 7 Regional Economic Development Partnership for 2018.

M7 and Chase launched the program in 2015 with an initial $200,000 grant from Chase. The program offers matching grants of up to $5,000 to small and medium businesses to start or expand export programs.

Chase has decreased its funding for M7’s export program over the past three years. In 2016, Chase contributed $200,000; in 2017, it gave $150,000.

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Chad Hoffman, vice president of global trade and investment at M7, attributed the decrease to Chase winding down its Global Cities Initiative, which was focused on boosting global trade and investment. While it was intended to be a five-year program, GCI is now in year 7.

The M7 has filled part of the shortfall with a three-year, $100,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp, he said. If Chase discontinued its funding for the export program, M7 would approach another bank.

“We at least know that the funding exists for another 12 months and we’re not worried about that continuing,” Hoffman said.

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“Minimizing barriers to exporting better positions companies to increase revenue and create local jobs,” Brian Grossman, managing director, Commercial Bank, at Chase, said in a news release. “The results we are seeing from our investments are very encouraging. They clearly demonstrate the growth potential of local Wisconsin companies and the incredible opportunities of international markets.”

So far, the Export Development Grant Program has awarded more than $383,000 to 80 Wisconsin companies. Fifty of those businesses have finished their exporting projects, and that portion has attributed a total of $11.9 million in additional export sales to the program, according to the M7.

“The majority of the award winners traveled to international tradeshows or participated in trade missions to meet with prospective partners and customers,” Hoffman said.

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According to M7, this new funding means the program will “continue into the foreseeable future.” M7 is accepting applications for the Export Development Grant Program through June 30.

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