Money available to help promote food, ag exports

Got a small business and want to get help exporting your food or agriculture product?

There’s some money avaiable from a nonprofit group, but funds are limited.

Here’s a press release from the Southern United States Trade Association, or SUSTA:

Applications are being accepted through the Southern United States Trade Association for funding assistance to help companies promote their food and agriculture products internationally.

SUSTA began accepting applications today for the upcoming year.

SUSTA, through the federal Market Access Program, reimburses companies up to 50 percent of their export promotional costs – such as product advertising in foreign markets, exhibiting at international trade shows and adapting their product labels for foreign laws – to help them become competitive in global markets.

Last year, companies enrolled in SUSTA’s programs exported more than $41 million in American food and agriculture thanks to the funding and assistance.

The Market Access Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), and SUSTA directs MAP funds to small- and medium-sized companies based in the southern U.S.

To be eligible for the MAP Branded program, companies must be considered small according to U.S. Small Business Administration standards, have yearly sales of at least $100,000 and promote a brand-name product that is of at least 50 percent U.S. agricultural origin. Companies located in any of SUSTA’s member states can apply for funding. Those states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Companies applying for MAP Branded funds can get started by completing a prequalification form on SUSTA’s web site, www.susta.org. Additional information is available from these states’ Department of Agriculture or from SUSTA at (504) 568-5986.