West Virginia Department of Commerce Export Promotion Reimbursement Program

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Export Promotion Reimbursement Program

Export Promotion Reimbursements

Export Promotion Reimbursements will be awarded to eligible small businesses to offset some of the costs of developing new export expansion projects. Small businesses with products and services selling successfully in the U.S. are encouraged to participate in our qualified export promotion activities and apply for export promotion reimbursements. This includes businesses that have never exported their products, businesses that have exported on a limited basis, or more experienced exporters seeking to continue to expand to new international markets.

For each qualifying export promotion activity, small businesses may apply to obtain 50% of eligible associated expenses. The Export Promotion Reimbursement minimum amount is $1,000, and the maximum amount is $3,750. Companies may apply for Export Promotion Reimbursements for different export promotion activities during the West Virginia First STEP-Next STEP funding period, to a maximum total reimbursement of $10,000. The West Virginia First STEP-Next STEP funding period is October 1, 2016 through September 29, 2017.

Eligible export activities under the Export Promotion Reimbursement Program include:

  1. 2016-2017 Trade Missions and Trade Shows sponsored by the West Virginia Development Office- Travel expenses to participate in West Virginia Trade Missions. Look into our upcoming Trade Missions to India, Japan and South Korea, Israel, Central America, Mexico and Trade Winds Eastern Europe. Click here for details.
  2. Individual Foreign Market Visits- Subscriptions and travel expenses for international sales trips scheduled directly by the applicant organization, participation in export trade events and conferences organized by reputable organizations, and international sales trips scheduled through the U.S. Commercial Service.
  3. Design of Marketing Media- Including creation of websites, landing pages in foreign languages, website translations, website localization services, search engine optimization, Google AdWords, and marketing materials translations and printing. Reimbursements limited to $3,000 per business per funding period.
  4. Fee-based Export Services offered by the U.S. Commercial Service- Click here for more information.
  5. Compliance Testing- If required for an existing product to enter a new market. Reimbursements limited to $2,000 per business per funding period.
  6. Domestic Trade Shows and Conferences- Limited to the 2017 Trade Show Schedule of the U.S. Department of Commerce International Buyer Program and domestic trade shows found appropriate for export development. Special rulings apply.
  7. Shipping Expenses- For shipping samples, marketing materials and exhibiting displays. Limited to $2,000 per business per funding period.

Eligible travel expenses:

  • Economy-class airfare in accordance with the Fly America Act– Flights must be booked through U.S. carriers. Cabin and seating upgrades are not eligible for reimbursement. If upgrading, applicants must turn in main cabin pricing for the same travel itinerary on the date of purchase.
  • Lodging and meals- Maximum rates are limited to U.S. Department of State Guidelines.
  • Ground transportation- Including taxis, train tickets, Uber, car rental, mileage, airport parking, private drivers.
  • Baggage fees
  • Interpretation services
  • Currency exchange fees

Important- Reimbursements are limited to 2 travelers directly employed by the applicant organization per qualifying export promotion activity.

Expenses not eligible:

  • Passport or visa fees
  • Immunizations
  • Expenses related to entertaining current or prospective clients or government officials
  • New product development or alteration of existing products
  • Cellphones and cellphone charges

Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed export activity will support a new international market entry or a new market expansion project such as a new product launch, selling to a new geographical area within a country, or catering to a new industry sector. Qualifying export activities must be completed by September 29, 2017.

Eligible small businesses must meet the following criteria in order to be considered to receive an Export Promotion Reimbursement.

  1. Is organized or incorporated in the United States
  2. Has a physical address located in West Virginia
  3. Complies with The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards
  4. Has been in business for not less than 1 year
  5. Has access to sufficient resources to bear the cost associated with trade, including the costs of packing, shipping, freight forwarding, and customs brokers.
  6. Has a finished product or qualifying service with at least 51% U.S. content
  7. Is not barred from receiving federal funds
  8. Is in good standing with the WV State Department of Tax and Revenue
  9. Agrees to complete one post-event survey, four quarterly performance surveys during the first year, and a yearly performance survey for the next two years