Export marketing assistance for small companies

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — The State Regional Trade Groups (S.R.T.G.s), four non-profit entities that administer many services through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program, have announced they are accepting applications from companies interested in participating in the MAP’s 2010 Branded Program. The B.P. allows small companies to defray as much as 50% of the cost of traveling and exhibiting at international trade shows as well as expenses such as advertising, product demonstrations in foreign markets, trade show giveaways and changes to product labels and packaging.

A company may become prequalified for the B.P. by applying with the S.R.T.G. that serves the region where it is located. The remaining application process for the B.P. requires a budget summary, marketing plan and certification page. There is a $250 fee to apply.

The B.P. is available to companies that are defined as small under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guidelines. To qualify for promotion under the B.P. products must contain at least 50% U.S. agricultural ingredients and be labeled as a "Product of the U.S.A."

The S.R.T.G.’s involved in the program include the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA, Food Export USA Northeast, Southern United States Trade Association and the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association.

To learn more about the B.P., visit www.brandedprogram.org.

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