When the COVID-19 pandemic grounded international travel, Maryland Commerce’s Office of International Investment and Trade (OIIT) continued to support Maryland companies eyeing global expansion. Keep reading to learn about the office’s ExportMD grant program and a webinar series focused on global growth during the Pandemic.
ExportMD Grant Program
Did you know that the state offers grants of up to $5,000 to Maryland companies looking to market internationally? The grant program, called ExportMD, is an ongoing grant program offered through the OIIT. The grants offer Maryland small and mid-sized businesses up to $5,000 in reimbursement for expenses associated with an international marketing project. Traditionally, many companies used the funds to offset travel expenses related to international marketing, but the funds can be applied for other marketing initiatives, which could include:
- Fees for shipping sample products
- Cost of compliance testing an existing product for entry into an export market
- Export research tool subscription for market research
- Website development (design, with international focus; translation into foreign language; search engine optimization; localization services; international payment set-up)
- Design of marketing media
- Ecommerce platform hosting/maintenance fees
- Online market listing fees
- Registration costs for virtual trade shows and missions
The current funding for these activities will expire at the end of September 2021, and the OIIT is encouraging interested companies to apply as soon as possible. Information on eligibility and application instructions can be found here. The OIIT staff are also available to speak at relevant (virtual) meetings to explain the program in detail to interested parties. For more information or to request a staff member for an upcoming meeting, contact: Jessica Reynolds, Senior Director, at email@example.com.
Webinars Focused on Globalizing Your Business
Throughout 2020, Maryland Commerce and its partners (Center for Global Business at Maryland Smith, U.S. Export Assistance Center - Baltimore, and MD-DC District Export Council) hosted a webinar series for global business. The series provided companies with tips, tools, and resources to globalize their websites and successfully market their products and services to customers around the world, particularly during a global pandemic.
- Quarantine Yourself, Not Your Business: Strategies to stay connected with your global markets. View Part 1.
- Everyone is Online: Reaching Your Global Customer Through Digital Marketing. View Part 2.
- You Can't Travel, But Your Products Can: Shipping and Logistics During a Pandemic. View Part 3.
- Where are All Your International Customers? Finding Them with the Right Online Market Research. View Part 4.
- Show Me The Money: Financing Exports During Uncertain Times. View Part 5.
- Don't Be a No-Show; Making the Most of Virtual Trade Shows. View Part 6.
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