Cost inputs are anything on which a company expends resources within the state. Examples include manufacturing, research and development, headquarters/administration and warehousing. In essence, we want to insure that a grantee’s economic footprint is at least 35 percent within the state. We have a Microsoft Excel tool that can assist companies in figuring out whether they qualify.
NAICS stands for the North American Industry Classification System. This number classifies businesses for the purpose of collecting, analyzing and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. economy. The NAICS industry codes define companies based on the activities in which they are primarily engaged. NAICS codes are also used for administrative, contracting and tax purposes. NAICS is production-oriented (not product-oriented) and places businesses in categories based on similar methods of production. Companies self-identify their NAICS codes, and any company that is exporting a good or service should have one. Click here to look up your company’s NAICS code.
Our Global Business Development Program calendar corresponds to WEDC’s fiscal year, July 1-June 30. The program has open enrollment, which means a company may apply anytime throughout the year. However, our board must approve the program and its budget with each new fiscal year.
It takes approximately six to eight weeks to process an application, and you will need an approval confirmation (with a date) before you can begin to pay on any expenses you are planning to count toward your grant reimbursement. For example, don’t just consider the date of the trade show you wish to attend; also consider the registration deadline, and work backwards to set your timeline for applying.
The Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS) website can help you determine how to put together an export compliance plan as well as help you determine if you need an ECCN and what that number might be. Visit www.bis.doc.gov for more information.
First, answer the questions below to see if you are actually ready to submit for reimbursement:
Typically, WEDC only cuts one check for our IMAG and CMAGs. We do not accept piecemeal receipts along the way. All reimbursement documentation should come in at once at the end of your project. If you need to split your reimbursement into two parts, please contact the international grants manager to request an exception.
That is, have you signed your grant contract, emailed it back to WEDC and received a signed copy from our vice president of credit and risk? We must have an executed contract before we can process any reimbursement requests.
At the end of your contract, there should be two forms: a WEDC request for payment and a program evaluation form. Both of these forms should be turned in within 90 days of your project end date listed in your contract. You will need to turn in the request for payment along with all documentation of your expenses.
Documentation includes answering:
All three of these questions must be answered before an expense will be approved for reimbursement.
You must have an approval confirmation (with a date) before you can start paying on any expenses under your grant. Thus, if your project has already occurred, it will be ineligible for grant funding.
Click here to view all upcoming ExporTech™ sessions. Attend this three-day event to develop a customized, action-oriented export expansion strategy with ExporTech™.
Doing business internationally can be expensive, especially as a company is expanding into a new market. Our international grant program is not meant to cover all project expenses. The idea is for a company to take its current budget and apply WEDC funds to take a three-year export strategy and pare it down to a year and a half. Or, if a company has budgeted to go to a trade show, perhaps the company can use grant funding to work with an international trade representative first to do some market research and appointment setting, thus utilizing their time in country more effectively than just attending the show. Our grants require a 30 percent company match. Travel and lodging expenses are not eligible for direct reimbursement, but can count toward the company match amount. State employees are restricted as to what kinds of airfare and lodging arrangements they can utilize; we do not impose those same restrictions on our applicants, since we are not funding those expenditures.
Food, alcohol and entertainment expenses can be subjected too much scrutiny, and we prefer to avoid those conversations.
A: IMAGs are for international trade exhibitions, international trade missions and business matchmaker services. Companies can use this for reimbursement for specific expenses associated with exhibiting at an approved trade show in a foreign market, participating in a matchmaker trade delegation program or certified trade mission, website and literature localization and consulting services needed to meet certain international product certification requirements.
A: The IMAG amount has increased since last year. In fiscal year 2014, companies could receive $10,000, and in the current fiscal year (FY15) companies can receive up to $25,000. This increase allows companies to think more strategically on how to implement their export development plan. It’s important for companies that currently export or are entering the exporting realm for the first time to take advantage of various opportunities and develop a strong exporting strategy. WEDC funding assistance provides the incentives for companies to think more strategically and achieve long-term success.
A: The Collaborative Market Access Grant provides support to non-profit, agency, and/or local economic development groups for an export project that directly assists the exporting efforts of Wisconsin companies. This allows WEDC to leverage relationships with partner organizations and industry associations to help make Wisconsin companies aware of the financial and technical assistance available through the organization. For example, WEDC has worked with the Port of Milwaukee to give pass-through assistance to companies that have activated their foreign trade zone status. We have supported BioForward with assistance for companies to participate in Bio & AdvaMed. Another organization took a delegation to South Africa.