Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 pm
The Milwaukee 7 Regional Economic Development Partnership will increase the amount of export funding available to area businesses with a new $200,000 donation from JPMorgan Chase.
The M7 launched its Export Development Grant Program in November with an initial $200,000 from Chase, which has now upped its contribution. The program aims to help companies enter new markets or grow in existing markets.
In February, M7 awarded its first round of export grants to 17 small and medium-sized exporting companies in the Milwaukee area. The grants, which are up to $5,000 each, are given as matching funds for export-related activities, such as travel to international trade shows. The companies were reimbursed once the projects were completed.
To date, 34 companies have been awarded grants of between $1,250 and $5,000. The additional funding from Chase will allow the program to continue operating.
“The Milwaukee 7 Export Development Grant Program is a wonderful example of how the Global Cities Initiative can provide value to the regional economy,” said Jim Popp, managing director for Chase middle market banking in Wisconsin. “M7 has effectively marketed the program and companies have stepped up enthusiastically to explore or expand their exporting efforts. Providing additional funds is a win-win for all of us.”
Southeastern Wisconsin produces about $100 billion in economic output, but just 16 percent is from exports, said Chad Hoffman, M7 export development manager. That means there’s room for export growth.
“The majority of the award winners will travel to international tradeshows or trade missions to meet with prospective partners and customers,” Hoffman said. “In addition, many companies will also be utilizing the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key matchmaking service in conjunction with the tradeshows to make the most of the trip abroad. Another resource that companies identified is ExporTech, a very beneficial program to assist companies in developing a strategic plan to grow exports.”