More than 50 Ohio companies have received export assistance from the
Ohio Department of Development’s
International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE
“The Office of Business Assistance leads the initiative to strengthen Ohio’s exporting economy and advance its leadership position in the global marketplace,” says Assistant Deputy Chief of Export Assistance, Wesley Aubihl. “Specifically, export assistance strives to increase international sales of Ohio-made goods and services, creating more and better jobs for Ohioans.”
Designed to increase exports and create jobs, IMAGE helps companies promote their products and services in new international markets. Best of all, IMAGE will reimburse companies a maximum of $6,000 or 50 percent on qualifying expenditures up to $12,000 for activities associated with new international marketing initiatives, such as trade shows and foreign marketing material translation.
, developers of lightweight travel trailers in Jackson Center, is just one example of a company that has taken off (no pun intended) thanks to assistance from IMAGE grant funds. Explains Aubihl, “[The funds] offset the costs of participating in a State of Ohio-Council of Great Lakes Governors trade mission to Brazil. The trade mission enabled Airstream to meet potential key customers in the Brazilian market.”
Justin Humphreys, Vice President of Sales at Airstream, has credited the Ohio Department of Development with playing a special role in their ability to meet with key players in Brazil to assess the potential of doing business abroad.
Aubihl is hopeful a slew of Ohio businesses will follow in Airstream’s footsteps and experience similar international success. “Since the program began in January, the Ohio Department of Development has awarded 15 trade mission stipends, supported 37 international trade shows, 10 U.S. Commercial Service projects, 20 translations of websites or printed materials, and three export education activities,” he explains. “The participating companies have reported more than $5 million in actual export sales, with additional sales expected over the next 12 months."
Source: Wesley Aubihl
Writer: Joe Baur