State Funds Available to Help Businesses Market Worldwide


Staff Reports



Ohio Development Services Agency is now accepting applications for the International Marketing Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) program.

The Ohio Development Services Agency’s Export Assistance Office is ready to help Ohio small businesses sell their goods and services overseas. Recently, the State of Ohio was awarded $700,000 by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) to offset the high costs associated with international marketing initiatives.

“Ohio businesses exported nearly $50 billion of goods and services in 2016,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “By offsetting the high costs with doing business internationally, we can help more Ohio businesses reach new customers and increase sales.”

In the first four years of the program, 306 businesses have received funding to promote their products and services in international markets, resulting in more than $51 million in export sales.

“The awards will provide a solid foundation for small businesses planning to enter and set them up for success,” said Linda McMahon, administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The IMAGE program is designed to help small businesses increase exports and create jobs in Ohio’s economy. IMAGE is a 50 percent reimbursement program capped at $12,500 per eligible approved applicant. The 2018 IMAGE program will run through September 29, 2018.

For more information or to apply, visit: www.IMAGE.development.ohio.gov.

Another University Joins Ohio’s Award-Winning Export Program

Cleveland State University will now offer the Ohio Export Internship Program.

The Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) recently announced a new partnership with Cleveland State University’s (CSU) Monte Ahuja College of Business to offer the Ohio Export Internship Program. This program provides a unique opportunity to businesses interested in exporting by matching them with highly-motivated college students who have taken export-focused coursework. This program develops a talented pool of students, who upon graduation will join Ohio’s workforce.

In partnership with Development, Cleveland State will be joining The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and Youngstown State University’s Williamson College of Business in helping Ohio companies identify new export markets or improve export initiatives.

“It’s about getting Ohio products out to the world,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “By expanding this unique program, we can train more students in exporting while helping more businesses increase global sales and create more jobs for Ohio.”

“We are excited about our partnership with the Ohio Development Services Agency and the opportunity to offer the Ohio Export Internship Program to our students,” said Sanjay Putrevu, dean of the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University. “The program enhances the College’s commitment to providing Engaged Learning experiences for students and offers another opportunity to further enhance our relationships with the Northeast Ohio business community. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.”

This nationally-recognized program combines a spring semester export-focused course with a paid summer internship, offering a 50 percent reimbursement to companies, providing students with real-world experience in exporting. Students focused in exporting go into Ohio businesses and setup their export business or operations.

Since starting with nine students in 2012, the Ohio Export Internship Program has graduated 190 students and generated over $20 million in estimated export sales for Ohio companies. To date, it has also led to 23 full-time job offers and 39 extended internships.

For more information about the Ohio Export Internship program, visit www.eip.development.ohio.gov.

The Ohio Export Internship Program, a public-private partnership, is designed to help businesses overcome the challenges of exporting by matching them with highly motivated students, from Ohio universities and colleges.

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Staff Reports