(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) JANUARY 25, 2018 – The Indy Chamber today announced four new recipients of its ‘GoGlobal’ Export Acceleration Grant program. Supported by JPMorgan Chase, GoGlobal grants help mid-market companies launch or expand export efforts with competitively-awarded matching funds up to $5,000.
The latest GoGlobal awardees are Arcamed, which supplies precision-machined supplies and components for the orthopedic industry; C.H. Ellis, a leading manufacturer of industrial plastic cases and other products; Jeco Plastic Products, an internationally-recognized producer of plastic pallets and other material handling solutions; and Stage Ninja, which engineers high-performance reels, clamps, stands and other supplies for musicians and other audio-visual set-ups.
These firms bring the total number of GoGlobal winners to more than a dozen since mid-2016. The program is part of the Metro Indianapolis Global Trade and Investment Strategy, led by the Indy Chamber through the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. GCI helps regional leaders grow their economies through global competitiveness; in the Indianapolis region, the process identified widespread potential for mid-sized company export growth.
“Our GoGlobal grants are ‘seed capital’ for making Indy a stronger global economy,” said Maureen Krauss, Chief Economic Development Officer for the Indy Chamber. “It’s easy to name a handful of major international corporations that lift our region to rank among the leading metros for export volume and value; our challenge is helping the small to mid-sized firms who haven’t realized the businesses opportunities beyond the United States.”
Jennifer Pearl, the Chamber’s Director of International Programs, noted that 80% of the world’s purchasing power exists outside the borders of the United States while 90% of the metro’s companies aren’t exporting – statistics that add up to missed opportunities for non-exporters and lost economic value to the region.
“Companies see many barriers to selling abroad – unfamiliar legal and regulatory issues, sales and marketing challenges, language and cultural hurdles, and many more,” Pearl noted. “GoGlobal grants may be a modest financial incentive, but they help smaller firms overcome perceived risks to seize much greater rewards.”
Craig Carson, CEO of Jeco Plastics, agreed that there’s a perception among many mid-market manufacturers that exporting is “just for the big guys.”
“As an executive, you have to be pragmatic about the costs of exporting: It takes time, money and planning,” Carson explained. “But successful companies don’t attempt to compete against larger peers in mature markets, they find new markets where they can win with a technological advantage. For a business like ours, even a $5,000 grant can tip the cost-benefit analysis in favor of exploring a new sales opportunity overseas.”
GoGlobal grants provide matching funds by reimbursement for an array of costs, including technical assistance, global market research, industry conferences, participation in economic trade missions and more. The latest recipients are primarily focused on raising their profile and connecting with international customers at major tradeshows and other events:
- CH Ellis will exhibit at Eisenwarenmesse, a major international hardware convention in Cologne, Germany (March 4-7, 2018) along with a schedule of additional business meetings in the area;
- Stage Ninja participated in the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a domestic event with global visibility and reach;
- Arcamed will use its grant to offset the costs of multiple events, including EFORT (the European Federation of Orthopedics and Traumatology) and EuroSpine;
- Jeco Plastic Products will also invest in tradeshows including Audi Ingolstadt and HEI Days, an internal conference for customers of Heidelberg, a global printing equipment maker based in Wiesloch, Germany.
“The GoGlobal grant is a fantastic opportunity for us,” said Duane Weber, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for C.H. Ellis. “In today’s economy, companies like ours have to look beyond our borders for continued growth, and this program helps us do more to build our business abroad.”
Stage Ninja, which is looking to scale up its export activities with a higher profile to the global electronics market at CES, has also taken advantage of the Indy Chamber’s microlending at small business coaching programs through the organization’s Entrepreneur Services division.
“The Indy Chamber has really been on our side as we’ve grown our business over the last decade,” said company co-founder Brent Eskew. “Giving us expert advice and business planning support, helping us manage cash flow issues as we expanded with microloans, and now supporting us as we work to make new connections around the world.”
A new round of GoGlobal Export Acceleration Grants is in progress, with applications due by February 9; companies can learn more and download guidelines and submission forms at www.indychamber.com/goglobalgrant.