2018 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge Grant Recipients
ORBATL, a regional partnership of public and private leaders that enables businesses to grow in the global economy, announces the winners of the Atlanta Metro Export Challenge (Atlanta MEC). The Atlanta MEC is a grant program designed to engage small- and medium-sized businesses in metro Atlanta in the development of international sales plans. Thirty companies were selected in the competition and will each receive a grant of $5,000 to apply towards the growth of their international business.
2018 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge-
Rules & Regulations
The Atlanta Metro Export Challenge grant (Atlanta MEC grant) is intended to support small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) international sales growth. By providing assistance with the costs of business development and export services, this program helps companies to build a strong foundation for international sales, access relevant research, and identify international partners and opportunities.
To be considered for grant funding, two (2) authorized representatives of the company (Form: ‘Company Self-Representation as an Eligible Small/Medium Business’) must certify that the applicant is eligible to receive an Atlanta MEC grant under all of the following elements of SME eligibility:
- Complies with Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards found at 13 C.F.R. Part 121;
- Has at least three (3) employees;
- Had been in business on, or before, 30 June 2017
Applicants that do not meet all of the elements of eligibility will not be considered for the Atlanta MEC grant program. Preference will be given to companies located in the metro Atlanta area that have less than $50 million in annual revenue. Additional consideration will be given to companies that are certified as a women business enterprise (WBE), a minority business enterprise (MBE), or a veteran-owned business.
Companies that have participated in previous years are not eligible to reapply.
Strong applications for the Atlanta MEC grant will demonstrate the following:
- Current or future exportability of a company’s product(s) and/or service(s)
- Realistic one-year and three-year exporting plans
- Convincing evidence that grant assistance will make a measurable difference in a company’s ability to sell successfully in other countries within two (2) years of receipt of grant assistance
All applications will be reviewed by a jury consisting of members from the metro Atlanta business community. The winners will be announced in September 2018.
Each selected company will receive a reimbursement grant of $5,000 that can be used towards activities as outlined below. Companies that have used the full grant money within a calendar year are eligible to apply for a final round of competition with the chance to win an additional $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000 (Pitch Day).
Grant Covered Services and Activities
The grants provided through the Atlanta MEC are designed to provide financial assistance to qualifying companies for activities and services that help them prepare for international business, explore new markets (countries), and successfully pursue new sales opportunities.
Eligible business development and export development services and activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
One-on-one export counseling; customized market research; analysis and assistance with supply chain; competitive strategy review and development; internal controls review and analysis; partner search (distributor, agent, manufacturer’s representative, joint venture, end-user, franchisee, etc.); business-to-business matchmaking with customized meeting agenda; participation in trade show or trade mission; review of budget and expenses; pricing assistance; education (classes, symposia, conferences) on export-specific topics; growth planning; strategic planning assistance; review and analysis of organizational structure; financial and cash flow planning in anticipation of export activity; professional improvement of web presence; translation of company website or promotional/information materials.
All requests for reimbursement for services and activities will be reviewed by the grant administrator in conjunction with the company’s stated export development goals and stage of business development. Please consult with the grant administrator prior to incurring expenses for services or activities not indicated above to determine if they may be eligible for reimbursement under the program.
Event and conference registration fees as well as airfare for economy class can be reimbursed at 100 percent of paid eligible expenses. Any other export-related activity will be reimbursed at 50 percent of paid eligible expenses. Reimbursement of paid eligible expenses will not to exceed $5,000.
2018 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge Reception
More than 100 people, including companies, sponsors, and partners, attended the 2018 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge Reception, the official promotion event for the grant program. The event, hosted by former grant winner NanoLumens, featured a panel discussion with Joe’ Lloyd of NanoLumens, Dot Bustelo of Loupe, and Ben Carter of Talero Tequila. Nick Masino of Partnership Gwinnett moderated the conversation.