DuPage County is a great place to build and grow a business, but as many of our local companies know, more than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is located outside the U.S., and international markets offer great potential for growth and expansion. More than 22,000 companies exported from Illinois in 2013, including many with fewer than 500 employees. These businesses have not only grown their bottom lines, but have also created jobs here in DuPage County by reaching untapped markets abroad.
Exporting enables companies to expand and diversify risk, helping them increase revenue, and ultimately increase overall profitability after export development costs have been covered. Expanding into international markets is essential for companies in today’s global economy, and reaching consumers in other countries is an important source of business development growth. Exporting offers our local companies an unmatched range of opportunities, and DuPage County is pleased to partner with Metro Chicago Exports to help companies maximize their export potential. For the second year running, the Metro Chicago Exports Grant Program will award grants up to $5,000 to small and medium-sized companies in DuPage and Northeastern Illinois. These grants will reimburse 50 percent of eligible expenses associated with exporting, such as executive training, trade show participation, and international certifications. The 2016 Grant Program will accept applications through May 27, 2016. Later this year, Metro Chicago Exports will host a pitch fest during which both 2015 and 2016 grant recipients will be eligible to submit a pitch for additional funding totaling $30,000. This program benefits not only its recipients, but DuPage County and the broader region. As grant recipients engage with customers in international markets, they ultimately grow their local operations to keep up with demand, and bring economic benefits back home. Choose DuPage encourages companies to explore the benefits of exporting and to apply for grants through Metro Chicago Exports. Additional details and eligibility requirements pertaining to the 2016 Metro Chicago Exports Grant Program are available at www.MetroChicagoExports.com.