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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                              Contact: Victoria Park
May 14, 2002                                                                                                                                             202-482-0310

COMMERCE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES $2 MILLION
IN GRANTS TO HELP BUSINESSES EXPAND EXPORTS

Non-profit Export Multipliers Encouraged to Compete for 2002 Awards

The Commerce Department has announced that non-profit export multipliers such as local development agencies, small business development centers and trade associations can now apply for Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards worth $2 million.

“We want businesses to take advantage of new exporting opportunities abroad,” said Commerce Assistant Secretary Linda Conlin.  “This program gives them the jump start they need to create new business relationships to promote their products around the world.”

The MDCP is a competitive matching grant program established in 1993 designed to help small and medium sized businesses promote U.S. products abroad.  Awards are limited to $400,000 each, which may last up to three years.  Award winners are required to match federal funds 2 to 1. Over the last five years, MDCP projects have generated over $1 billion in exports or $86 for every Federal dollar invested.  The deadline to apply for the grant is July 1, 2002. 

In addition to receiving funds, recipients also receive professional support from Department of Commerce trade experts.  This includes customized briefings on markets and industries, assistance in organizing trade missions, facilitating private meetings with pre-screened contacts in other countries and organizing debriefings to determine appropriate follow-up strategies.

Organizations interested in applying for an MDCP grant can obtain information by calling (202) 482-2969 or visiting www.export.gov/mdcp

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