State announces new export assistance programs

This week, the Ohio Development Services Agency introduced several new export assistance programs and are promoting some great resources through the Food Export Association of the Midwest. Companies thinking about starting to export or wanting to increase their exports should review them:

1. NEW – Virtual Consultations – 30-minute one-on-one video consultations with one of the In-Market Representatives at the Ohio Development Services Agency. These sessions are meant to help you explore questions related to export plans and market expansion. During your session, you will have the opportunity to receive answers to predetermined market-specific questions. Our in-market experts will do their best to answer your questions and deliver valuable feedback to help you achieve export success.

2. NEW – Lead Qualification helps in qualifying foreign buyer leads from trade shows or other sources. Our In-Market Representatives will vet the buyer and provide a report to help you determine if you want to move forward with the lead. Lead Qualification Service allows you to use market research and data available to our In-Market Representatives to prioritize leads after an event.

3. Market Builder – Finding the right market and buyer for your product is the key to exporting success. Exporters who are looking to secure their product in an international market, find new distributors or importers, and/or receive valuable feedback about their product can take advantage of our Market Builder service. This one-of-a-kind service offers packages especially designed to an exporter’s needs and wants. Market Builder provides customized research to help your company uncover potential in international markets. It has two components:

  • Market Scan: This service draws on In-Market Representatives’ expertise to provide in-depth market research for a specific product. It includes: Store Check and Distribution Analysis, Competitive Product Shopping, Importation Analysis, Distributor Referrals, Target Importer List.
  • Rep Finder: Our In-Market Representative facilitates direct meetings between your company and a select group of targeted importers. It includes: In-Market Assistance, Distributor Referrals, Target Importer List.

4. Educational Resources – ODSA offers a lot of online resources, businesses can take advantage of now.

  • Export Intelligence Video Series – This video series is a great overview of all the opportunities the Food Export Association of the Midwest offers. From country-specific videos to an inside tour of a Buyers Mission, this video series is a great place for new companies to begin their export experience.
  • Export Essentials Online Modules – This self-paced, interactive 12-module series provides a holistic view of many of the intricacies of exporting. Learn how to Navigate Export Regulation, Prepare for Meetings with Buyers, how to Use Market Research for Competitive Advantage, and more.
  • Webinars – Food Export of the Midwest and Food Export of the Northeast offer a series of educational webinars to help companies build their export capacity. Webinars provide up-to-date exporter intelligence for companies regarding specific markets, logistics, trade financing, documentation, how to meet and follow up with foreign buyers and much more. Food Export’s webinars are complimentary to interested individuals.

5. Food Export Helpline – Whether you’re new to exporting or have experience, there are always specific issues and questions that are unique to your company, products, and export markets. With the Food Export Helpline™, you’ll speak with an industry expert who will put more than 34 years of experience to work for you. There are no canned answers, only insightful, customized advice specifically for you.

6. Food Export Branded funding for 2020 – Through the Food Export Association of the Midwest, the Branded Program supports U.S. food and agricultural companies’ international marketing efforts by reimbursing 50 percent of approved expenses used for international marketing and promotional activities. Eligible expenses for cost share and reimbursement include but are not limited to advertisements and publications, international trade shows, promotions, public relations and seminars. Please complete your prequalification and application. This will increase your chances to secure the funding you need to build the appropriate international marketing budget.

7. Export Consulting – Sabrina d’Onofrio heads up the Northwest Ohio office of the Export Assistance Network. For more information and for assistance in accessing any state exporting resources, please feel free to contact her at or by phone at (419) 243-8191.

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