Today the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) announced the recipients of second round funding from the Trade Show Assistance Grant Program, an initiative of the agency’s Domestic Export Program designed to assist Vermont food and forest businesses in making and maintaining connections with buyers, brokers and distributors via out-of-state trade shows. A total of $14,000 was awarded to fourteen Vermont businesses to attend trade shows in New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco and to exhibit their Vermont-made products in front of thousands of regional and national buyers.
The 2016 (Round 2) Trade Show Assistance Grant Awardees Include:
Company Trade Show & Location Grant Amount
Bee’s Wrap, NY NOW Show in New York, NY $2,000
Cloudfarm, National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, NV $2,000
Gringo Jack’s, Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, CA $1,000
Kimball Brook Farm, Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, NY $1,000
Kingdom Creamery, Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, NY $1,000
Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind, Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, NY $1,000
Shacksbury Cider, Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, NY $1,000
Sidehill Farm, Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, NY $1,000
Small Batch Organics, Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, NY $1,000
Stonecutter Spirits, WhiskyFest New York in New York, NY $600
Tavernier Chocolates, Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, NY $400
The Vermont Switchel Co., New England Made in Portland, ME $1,000
Vermont Sweetwater Bottling Co., Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, NY $1,000
The Agency of Ag also announced a third solicitation period for trade show assistance grant applications beginning March 1st 2016, in which an additional $14,000 will be available to Vermont food and forest product businesses to exhibit at out-of-state trade shows for the first time. Applications are available online and are due by 4:00 PM on Tuesday March 29th. Before applying, applicants must read the request for applications: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/domestic_export/trade_show_grant_application.
The Domestic Export Program represents a collaborative effort between the Vermont Agencies of Agriculture, Food, and Markets (VAAFM) and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) to connect Vermont producers with out-of-state buyers and provide technical assistance to convert these connections into sustainable business relationships. Funding for the first Trade Show Assistance Grant Program was appropriated by the Vermont Legislature in 2014 to provided matching grants and technical assistance to 25 Vermont producers to attend 15 different trade shows in 10 different states.
The second and third rounds of the Trade Show Assistance Grant Program have been made possible by funding from the Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB). Inspired by the impact of the first round of grants allocated to Vermont businesses in 2014, which resulted in over 1,000 sales leads and $1 million increase in projected annual sales among the 25 grantees, the WLEB board approved a $25,000 investment in the Trade Show Assistance Grant Program over the course of 2015-2016.
“The Domestic Export Program provides critical support to Vermont businesses working to expand product sales out of state,” said Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross. “And the Trade Show Assistance Grant is one of the highest impact tools in the Domestic Export toolbox. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Working Lands Enterprise Board to help more Vermont companies learn about trade show opportunities, and exhibit their Vermont-made products in front of thousands of regional and national buyers.”