INDIANAPOLIS — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker this week presented the Indy Chamber with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, DC. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.
“The Indy Chamber has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The “E” Awards Committee was very impressed with the Indy Chamber’s dedication to helping first time exporters understand the export process and enter new international markets. The organization’s support of trade missions through seminars and conferences was also particularly notable. The Indy Chamber’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” said Secretary Pritzker in her congratulatory letter to the company announcing its selection as an award recipient.
The Indy Chamber is the Indianapolis region’s largest business organization, representing nearly 2,000 employers across the metropolitan area. Since 2012, it expanded its role in economic development to include business recruitment and retention, small business and entrepreneur services, and initiated proactive strategies to increase global exports and investment.
“We know that a growing region has to be part of the global economy,” said Michael Huber, president and CEO of the Indy Chamber. “More than 100,000 local jobs are already supported by exports and employment in foreign-owned firms that have chosen Indianapolis; by helping more businesses become exporters, we can grow those numbers, along with average incomes and our overall economy.”
The Indy Chamber has launched a host of programs under its Global Indy initiative, including Export Bootcamps and other services for mid-market firms seeking to join the more than 30,000 U.S. companies who have become exporters since 2010. The organization is leading the region’s participation in the Global Cities Exchange, a joint project of The Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase that lends expertise and technical support to regional planning efforts.
The Indy Chamber plans to release the resulting global trade and investment strategy for the metro later this summer, previewing key findings at its annual World Trade Day on May 24 in Indianapolis.
“Like Secretary Pritzker and the Department of Commerce, our business is business,” added Huber. “We’ve identified more than a thousand mid-sized companies in export-oriented industries that aren’t tapping into international markets – Indianapolis ranks among the top regions in total exports today, but we quite literally have a world of growth potential ahead.”
Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Angela Smith-Jones, who leads the City’s economic development effort, accepted the “E” Award on behalf of the Indy Chamber and the local economic development organizations that support its regional efforts.
In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Today, Secretary Pritzker honored 123 U.S. companies with the President’s “E” Award for their outstanding work to reduce barriers to foreign markets and to open the door to more trade around the world.
In 2015, U.S. exports totaled $2.23 trillion, accounting for nearly 13 percent of U.S. GDP. Nationally, exports contributed to the U.S. economy, supporting an estimated 11.5 million jobs.
U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service office network, located within the Department’s International Trade Administration, with offices in 108 U.S. cities and more than 70 countries. Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth and case studies which demonstrate valuable support to exporters resulting in increased exports for the company’s clients.
For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit www.export.gov.