Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 pm
Seventeen Milwaukee-area companies have been selected by the Milwaukee 7 Regional Economic Development Partnership to receive grants aimed at helping them grow their exports.
The Export Development Grant Program presented by JPMorgan Chase awards grants of up to $5,000 for small and medium size companies who are either new or current exporters. The program provides matching funds that can be used for a multitude of export-related functions and can also be combined with grants from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
Many of the 17 companies (which have not been named publicly) are using the money to travel to international tradeshows for the first time, while others are using the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key matching making service or ExportTech, a Wisconsin program that helps companies develop export business plans.
“Exports are an important way that businesses can grow and become resilient,” said Jim Popp, market leader for JPMorgan Chase in Wisconsin and Minnesota. “The more our local businesses make connections into international markets, the greater their opportunity and the stronger our economy becomes.”
Exports accounted for 16 percent of southeastern Wisconsin’s $100 billion economic output, according to the M7, with a large portion going to either Mexico or Canada. Wisconsin’s exports were down roughly 4.2 percent in 2015.
“Our goal is to identify companies who are not exporting to their full potential and help them enter new markets,” said Chad Hoffman, M7 export development manager. “Navigating the available programs can be daunting; however, we are committed to providing companies with the most appropriate information for their current situation.”
The total amount of funding included in the first round of grants won’t be determined until companies have completed their export related projects. Once company officials return from their trip, they will submit expenses to M7 and be reimbursed.
The companies come from a variety of industries including manufacturing and service providers. To date, appoximately 56 percent of the $100,000 in funding provided by JPMorgan has been allocated.
A second round of applications is being accepted through March 31. For more information, visit www.mke7.com/exporting.