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Louisville-Lexington BEAM Program Announces $200,000 For Businesses Wanting To Export

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Kentucky businesses in the Louisville-Lexington region are being encouraged to apply for grants to help them export their products internationally.

The JP Morgan Chase Foundation is providing the $200,000 grant in partnership with the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement known as BEAM, which focuses on improving business in the region between the state’s two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington. “I believe today that if you have international competitors and you’re not exporting, it’s just a matter of time before they come and eat your lunch," says Mayor Greg Fischer.Fischer says more than 300 small businesses in Kentucky exported internationally this year, exceeding BEAM’s annual goal and helping the initiative meet its goal of growing exports 50 percent over a five year period.

 

“It’s a lot easier to begin exporting than it is to invent a new product or a new service because that frequently has a lot of unknowns with it, versus just changing your product to adapt to a foreign market,” says Fischer.

 

Small businesses making under $40 million in revenue can apply for grants that can be used for a variety of resources to help them expand internationally, like attending conferences or individualizing market research. Officials say all of Kentucky’s small businesses can apply, but officials will focus on the 22-county BEAM region.Businesses can apply for up to $4,500 grants. Fischer also released the Regional Export Plan that outlines goals and strategies for the BEAM region. This includes a list of target industries that includes processed food, food equipment manufacturers, transportation equipment suppliers and biotech.