Expert advice part of new Export Readiness Micro-Voucher Program to give local business international reach
As Alberta’s exports continue to grow, the province has unveiled a new program to help small businesses expand their global reach. It’s not a huge financial investment, worth just $600,000 over the next three years, but Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous hopes it will bring dividends.
Called the Export Readiness Micro-Voucher Program, it will dole out $5,000 grants to local businesses to help them connect with experts and develop export strategies by identifying customer bases and competitors, and figuring out distribution channels, marketing and regulations in the market.
It’s the latest installment in a suite of programs under the Alberta export expansion umbrella, which has already proven popular. Take the export support fund, announced in October, which reimburses eligible companies up to $20,000 per year for a select range of export activities.
More than 80 businesses have been approved for funding, 11 of which used the cash to take part in Alberta’s largest-yet trade mission to Asia late last year. One of those companies was TC Scientific, an Edmonton-based chemicals company. CEO John Yao said the November 2016 trade mission played a vital part in allowing his business to explore foreign markets.