Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
August 2005
Wisconsin Trade Project Offers Grants for International Trade Shows

Exhibiting at an international trade show may be an expensive undertaking for a beginning exporter, but going directly to the market can be critical to export success. The primary purposes of the Wisconsin Trade Project are to encourage smaller Wisconsin companies (defined as companies, together with affiliates and subsidiaries, with annual sales of less than $25 million) to actively seek out new markets and customers abroad. Under the program, Wisconsin companies can be reimbursed up to $5,000 for specific expenses for participating in an approved trade show or matchmaker trade delegation event. Eligible shows must be outside the United States with one exception. Since so many of the world's premiere hi-tech shows take place within the United States, Wisconsin companies marketing new hi-tech products with worldwide application may be approved for domestic shows which have significant international participation.

Reimbursable expenses include:

  • trade show or matchmaker trade delegation participation fees;
  • costs associated with shipping displays, samples, catalogs, or advertising materials;
  • costs incurred at a trade show or matchmaker trade delegation event for utilities, booth construction, or necessary modification, repairs or other reasonable expenses associated with displays;
  • costs associated with first time foreign language translation of brochures and product literature or the use of translation services and interpreters at a trade show or matchmaker trade delegation event.

The following may not be reimbursed:

  • travel costs
  • lodging
  • employee salaries
  • meals and entertainment

Participants in the Wisconsin Trade Project must be approved in advance of the international event and are reimbursed for eligible expenses after the event and completion of an evaluation.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) has developed a Hi-tech and Biotech Travel Grant Program that complements the Wisconsin Department of Commerce Trade Show Grant Program. The purpose of CIBER's grant program is to assist small Wisconsin hi-tech and biotech companies to explore and engage opportunities to export their products internationally by helping to subsidize the travel portion of trade show attendance costs. Applicants wishing to be considered for this grant should submit a supplementary application along with their completed Department of Commerce Trade Show Grant Program application. For more information about the Hi-tech and Biotech Travel Grant Program and application, please visit the CIBER website.

More information on the Wisconsin Trade Project can be obtained on-line at http://commerce.wi.gov/IE/IE-TradeShowGrant.html or from program manager Lou Janowski, ph: (608) 266-0393.

--Stanley Pfrang

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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