Manufacturers Interested in Exporting Get a Boost

Jan. 11, 2013
Small to mid-sized manufacturers who are exporting or thinking about exporting should know about their state export programs and how to secure funds to further export plans. Organizers of the Hannover Fair trade fair in Germany are working with states to help more U.S. manufacturers facilitate exports and attend the fair.

Hannover Fairs USA, Inc. is the U.S. arm of the German Deutsche Messe organization, which annually puts on very large digital technology (CEBIT), manufacturing (Hannover Messe) and machine tool (EMO) industry events in Hannover, Germany. The company is supporting small businesses that want to attend these events by working closely with individual U.S. states as they disburse funds awarded through the State Trade and Export Promotion program (STEP). Small to mid-sized manufacturers who are exporting or thinking about exporting can find out about the state programs and obtain detailed information about how to secure funds to further their plans.

The STEP program is funded through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  In fiscal year 2011, SBA awarded 52 grants totaling $30 million. The average value of grant awarded was $577,000. 

“We have a close relationship with the parties administering the STEP funds in all 50 states and are actively trying to spread the word to small businesses across the country,” said Larry Turner, CEO of Hannover Fairs USA.  “Any small business interested in attending the events in our global portfolio should contact Hannover Fairs USA and also get in touch with their state’s economic development office to further their export initiatives.”

The State of Washington attended Hannover Messe 2012 with several companies funded under STEP, exhibiting in the U.S. Energy pavilion.  Commenting on the experience, Andrew Crowder, Clean Technology Export Program, Washington State Department of Commerce stated, “All of our state’s attending companies’ registered impressive results.  For instance, B&G Machine entered a multi-year contract with a German diesel engine manufacturer. Demand Energy Networks established relationships with a group of electrical power authorities. Enertechnix was offered financial aid to establish an assembly facility in Germany, and Hydrovolts generated several hundred leads.”

Crowder said the State of Washington plans to return to Hannover Messe 2013 with a sizable group of companies.  “The scale of the show and the global character of the attendees and exhibitors is unmatched, and we see this as the beginning of a long-term partnership,” he said.

 Automation World’s Gary Mintchell produced a Video Report on Hannover Fair 2011 that provides insight into what can be seen at Hannover Messe.

Each state in the U.S. receives STEP funds based on a single application to the program each year. Activities authorized include participation in foreign trade missions and market sales trips, subscription to services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, design of international marketing products and campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training, and other efforts aligned with program goals.  

Hannover Messe USA and the STEP initiative are helping small businesses attend CeBIT from March 5-9, 2013, Hannover Messe from April 8-12, 2013, and EMO from September 16-21, 2013.  Each show is held annually in Hannover, Germany.  Hannover Messe 2013 will include Russia as the partner country and comprise 11 flagship fairs. It will place a strong emphasis on industrial automation and IT, energy and environmental technologies, power transmission and control, industrial subcontracting, manufacturing technologies, services and R&D.

On a state-by-state basis, benefits are available to a select number of small business companies that apply to attend CeBIT, Hannover Messe or EMO.  These benefits can include:

·         A reduction in exhibition space costs of up to 50 percent

·         Help with travel and lodging expenses

·         Matchmaking services for valuable, pre-qualified new business leads

·         Co-branding with the state and other U.S. trade fair partners

·         A “pocket guide” listing all participating companies in the state to drive traffic to their booths

·         Press matchmaking for optimum media exposure

Any company looking to take advantage of these benefits at Hannover Messe can contact Ulli Hammer at (609) 987-1202 x 205 or [email protected]

For CeBIT, contact Marsha Winston at (609) 987-1202, ext. 238 or [email protected]

For EMO, contact Donna Hyland at (908) 735-0559 or[email protected].

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