October 5, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Governor Bentley Announces Alabama Receives Two Grants for Export Promotion

OFFICE OF GOVERNOR ROBERT BENTLEY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2011

MONTGOMERY—Governor Robert Bentley today announced that Alabama has won two separate grants totaling $240,600 to increase exports in the state and create jobs. At a press conference in Montgomery, Governor Bentley was joined by Alabama Development Office Director Greg Canfield to make the announcement.

“These two grants will allow Alabama to provide funding for our state’s companies to sell more Alabama products and services overseas and create jobs through increasing our exports,” said Governor Bentley.

In 2010, international trade was a $15.5 billion industry in Alabama with manufactured goods from Alabama shipped to 198 foreign destinations—a strong increase of 25.5% from 2009.  Over 300,000 jobs for Alabama citizens were supported by the $15.5 billion in manufactured exports from the state to the rest of the world.

 The grants, $100,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC), and $140,600 from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade and Export Promotion Grants Program (STEP), will focus on the state’s small and medium-sized companies.

The ARC Global Appalachia initiative is designed for a 37-county region of Alabama Appalachia and will encourage a stronger partnership between ARC-member states, the federal government, and Appalachian businesses to increase the number of businesses that want to export and increase the value of exports for Appalachian businesses currently exporting.

The STEP Grant Program is a three-year pilot program that aims to increase the number of small businesses across America that are exporting goods or providing services. 

Programs will provide funding for companies to gain a foothold in overseas markets through participating in trade missions and trade shows in emerging markets such as China, Eastern Europe and Latin America.  The grants will work to increase the number of companies exporting by providing hands-on assistance through market research, trade leads and identifying qualified international buyers.  A portion of the grants will focus on increasing higher-education exports, an industry sector which ranks among the country’s top 10 service exports. 

Alabama Development Office Director Greg Canfield said the two grants awarded to Alabama “will help fuel the organic process for job creation in our state through the growth of export opportunities and increased sales for Alabama companies and their products. We know that 70% of Alabama companies exporting are small to medium sized businesses and we know that companies which export add jobs 18% faster than companies that choose not to export.”



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