Ohio to Offer Export Assistance to Small Businesses

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Exporting can help a business build and diversify its customer base, and the Ohio Department of Development is launching a new initiative to help small businesses get started or expand existing export initiatives.

The International Market Access Grant for Exporters, or IMAGE, provides eligible businesses a 50% reimbursement of up to $10,000 on $20,000 in expenditures for activities that promote international business, according to a press release.

“Ohio-made products and services are recognized for their high quality across the world,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Department of Development. “Companies can boost their bottom line and hire more workers by expanding into new markets and seeking out new customers. Our export services are ready to help.”

Eligible expenditures include:

  • Website development
  • International advertising
  • E-commerce
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Marketing and website translation
  • Compliance testing
  • Trade shows (international, domestic, and virtual)

The first application period begins Sept. 27 and closes at 3 p.m. on Nov. 9. Funding for the first round can be used between Oct. 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. Additional IMAGE funding opportunities will be announced quarterly subject to funding availability, according to the release.

Applications for export training grants through IMAGE are open now. Grants provide 100% reimbursement up to $5,000 for export training activities. Funding for export training activities can be used between Oct. 1, 2021, and Sept. 29, 2022.

Applications must be approved before the activities take place.

For more information, visit Image.development.ohio.gov. Businesses also can find help with the application process and get advice on exporting from Development’s Export Assistance Network offices around the state. To find the nearest office, CLICK HERE.

Photo by Andy Li on Unsplash

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.