Market Access Program
NOTE: The Market Access Program, or MAP, is closed as of September 30, 2012. No applications accepted for this program.
The TNTrade Market Access Program (MAP) is a reimbursement program designed to enhance export readiness, promotion and sales activities in foreign markets for Tennessee’s small to mid-sized companies. MAP is a valuable tool available to qualifying companies seeking to enter new foreign markets. MAP provides a 50 percent reimbursement for up to $5,000 per year for qualified and approved export activities. This program is funded through a grant awarded from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and is managed through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD).
Assistance is limited to qualifying Tennessee companies. Each company must meet the following criteria:
- • Be a Small Enterprise (SME) based on the SBA definition
- • Have been in business for not less than one year from the date of program application
- • Operate profitably, during the most recent fiscal year (or portion thereof if the business has not operated for a complete fiscal year), based on operations in the United States
- • Operate a licensed business in Tennessee to manufacture, assemble and/or distribute a product or provide an exportable service; if manufactured or produced outside of Tennessee, the product/service must be marketed under the name of a Tennessee firm and have Tennessee content representing at least 51 percent of the value of the finished good and/or service
- • Be in good standing with the Secretary of State
- • Understand of the costs associated with exporting and doing business with foreign purchasers, including the costs of freight forwarding, customs brokers, packing and shipping
- • Have a plan for exporting
MAP is designed to provide flexibility and encourage the innovative use of funds to meet the specific international needs of Tennessee companies.
Qualifying activities include:
- • Overseas trade mission participation
- • Overseas trade show participation
- • Domestic trade show participation (must have significant international focus)
- • Foreign market sales trip
- • Subscription to services through the U.S. Commercial Service
- • Independent consultant assistance (CE MARK, CSA, ISO, REACH, CITRA, etc.)
- • Export training workshops
- • Product certification (CE MARK, CSA, ISO, etc.)
- • International marketing media design
- • Website internationalization
- • Marketing collateral translation
Eligible and Ineligible MAP Expenses
Eligible expense categories are restricted to the following:
- • Airfare* (economy class)
- • Lodging** (room and taxes)
- • Ground transportation
- • Translation and interpreter fee
- • Trade mission or show related fees to include but are not limited to: registration fee, booth fee, equipment rental, utilities and shipments
- • Subscription to services through U.S Commercial Service
- • Independent Consultant Assistance(CE MARK, CSA, ISO, REACH, CITRA, etc.)
- • Fees associated with export training, certification and consulting
- • Registration and certification costs
- • International media and marketing collateral
- • Website internationalization
Ineligible expense categories include but are not limited to:
- • Printing costs
- • Any additional hotel amenities**
- • Food and beverages
- • Phone and internet usage
- • Expenses for more than one company employee per MAP activity
- • Compensation, wages or salary of any employee of the MAP recipient
- • Capital goods, product samples and supplies
Application Submission Process
- • Applications must be submitted to TNTrade at least 20 business days prior to the activity.
- • Application packages must be complete, signed and dated.
- • All activities must be approved prior to participation in order to utilize MAP.
- • Completed applications can be mailed or emailed to TNTrade.
- • No less than $1,000 in reimbursable expenses per application. Reimbursement is based on the completion of activity with all receipts compiled in one (1) submission.
- • One (1) activity per application with the exception of training. Trainings with a cost of less than $1,000 can be included with another training or activity.
- • Financial assistance shall not exceed $5,000 per company, per year, with no more than three (3) applications per company, per 12-month period.
- • No partial packages will be accepted for reimbursement.
- • MAP may not be utilized in conjunction with the TNTrade Medical Device Trade Mission to China and Korea, April 15 - April 21, 2012.
Application Review and Response
All applications for funding will be evaluated by a review team consisting of representatives from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee Small Business Development Center and the United States Commercial Service using the following criteria:
- • Company Description (10 points)
- • Project Description (30 points)
- • Economic Impact (50 points)
- • Project Budget (10 points)
Applications will be reviewed and funding decisions rendered on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications that receive a score of 70 or higher will be approved for MAP (100 total points possible) subject to funding availability and final approval by the ECD commissioner.
- • An approved company will receive a closing package which includes a Letter of Commitment detailing the terms and conditions of the reimbursement by email.
- • Any change(s) made to the event/activity (including dates) requires pre-approval from TNTrade.
- • Approved companies will be required to complete brief, quarterly surveys regarding export activity related to MAP funding.
- • If the company decides not to participate in the approved activity, TNTrade must be notified as soon as possible before the scheduled event/activity takes place.
Each company whose application is denied will receive a letter by email.
Recipients will be reimbursed once their activity has been completed and all documentation has been received by the TNTrade office. Recipients must complete all activities for which they have received approval within the timeframe outlined on the application. All receipts associated with approved activities must be submitted to ECD's TNTrade office within 30 days after completion of the activity. ECD will work to process reimbursement requests as quickly as possible.
Note on funding: TNTrade MAP is funded through the SBA's STEP grant, which is a three-year grant program requiring approval by the SBA for each year of its term. ECD has received approval to use STEP funds for the one-year period ending September 30, 2012, and companies seeking MAP reimbursements must incur the approved and qualified expenses on or before this date. ECD intends to apply for funding for the two subsequent 12-month periods of the STEP grant program when such applications are made available by the SBA.
To apply or for more information:
State of TN - ECD
Attn: TNTrade MAP
312 Rosa L Parks Avenue, 11th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
Program contact: Patrick Baird 615.532.1938 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org