International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE)

IMAGE grants are back for another year of funding. The Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE), funded by the state of Ohio and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is designed to increase exports and create jobs. The IMAGE grant offers financial assistance for small businesses to promote their products and services in international markets.

If you have any interest in the IMAGE grant program, please take the time to apply and get the process started. It will be very competitive this year, so don’t wait until the end and miss the opportunity.

WHAT does IMAGE cover?

IMAGE funds will reimburse companies a maximum of $10,000 (50 percent on expenditures up to $20,000) for participation in the following activities:

International Tradeshow Exhibition

  • Booth space rental and construction
  • Freight costs to ship booth and materials
  • Trade show registration fees
  • Travel expenses and domestic trade shows are not eligible

Approved Trade Missions

Individual Market Visit supported by the state of Ohio in-country support, USCS Gold Key Service or Food Export Market Builder

  • View supported market research assistance through the state of Ohio in-country support, the US Dept. of Commerce Gold Key service and Food Export Market Builder.
  • Economy-class airfare in accordance with the Fly America Act
  • Lodging rate as set by the U.S Department of State
  • Interpreter fees, ground transportation, meals and incidentals are not eligible
  • Travel expenses limited to two people

International Advertising

  • Cost of production and placement of advertisements in magazines, newspapers, posters, billboards, direct mail, on TV, radio and international websites
  • Printing costs are not eligible
  • Website Development
  • Website translation into foreign language, search engine optimization and localization services ($3,000 reimbursement maximum in this category)

Translation Services

  • Marketing material translations and localizations
  • Label, packaging and technical manual translations
  • Printing costs are not eligible

COMPANY Eligibility

The IMAGE program requires the application to be signed by a corporate officer, certifying that certain eligibility criteria will be met. Guidelines for eligibility include: the company operates a licensed business in Ohio to manufacture, assemble and/or distribute a product or provide an exportable service; company certifies that the products to be promoted contain a majority of U.S. content. U.S. content is valued at export-works price minus the aggregate value contributed by foreign suppliers, including labor and material; and nonprofits are not eligible.. There are other eligibility criteria listed at http://development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_image.htm.

HOW to Apply?

For application guidelines and tips, visit http://development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_image.htm. The application can be found at: http://odsawebportal.development.ohio.gov/Account/Login.aspx?inf=eR/s8MUzN+nlwbq7FnWJrwTKXV2ddhyXa+YFIOvwG+s=

If you have questions concerning your company’s eligible reimbursements, contact Thien Bui at IMAGE@development.ohio.gov or 614.466.4996.

The SBDC, International Trade Program can assist you with determining the events and activities that support your export marketing plans. Call Kathy Marshalek for an appointment or suggestions at 937.775.3524.

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