Export Grant Enhancements Expected to Lead More Wisconsin Companies Overseas

Limits on state grants have more than doubled in effort to boost exports

Wisconsin companies thinking about exporting for the first time—or expanding current exporting efforts—now have another reason to do so as the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has made several significant changes in its Global Business Development Program.

The changes are being made to WEDC’s International Market Access Grant (IMAG) and Collaborative Market Access Grant (CMAG), both of which help companies lay the foundation to create a new exporting strategy or build upon existing export programs into new markets.

The most significant change is the increase in the size of grants that companies can receive for both programs. The maximum award for the IMAG, which provides funding for companies to participate in trade trips, overseas meetings, or to receive export education and/or consulting services has increased from $10,000 to $25,000 per award.

The limit for an award for the CMAG, which helps industry associations and other organizations work directly with companies to increase exports, has risen from $50,000 to $150,000 with a maximum of $15,000 going to any one company for a project.

The increased funding levels aren’t the only new changes for WEDC’s export grant program.

Before the changes were made, companies that also wanted to apply for one of WEDC’s Export Education Grants would have to fill out a separate application. Under the changes, IMAG now incorporates educational and cultural expenses as part of that program.

This allows companies to receive IMAG funding for classes, workshops, seminars and trainers to provide their employees with the information they need to successfully interact with partners in other countries.

WEDC also has taken steps to make it easier for companies to qualify for the IMAG program. Previously, companies had to provide assurances that more than half of the value of the product or services they produced is done in Wisconsin. That has been changed to 31 percent to match U.S. trade agreements with other countries.

For more information about WEDC’s exporting programs and for grant applications, visit inwisconsin.com/exporting.

(October 2014)