Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets
Trade Show Grants Available to Help VT Working Lands Businesses Expand Their Reach
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets has created a new matching grant program to help agriculture and forest product businesses attend domestic trade shows and expand their presence in other U.S. states. In total, $25,000 in matching funds are available.
Trade shows enable companies to connect with buyers and brokers, potentially opening new markets for sales.
Applications for the grants can be found online at:
The deadline for applications is Friday, February 6th, 2015.
The trade show assistance grant is part of the new Domestic Export Program, created during the 2014 legislative session. In addition to the trade show assistance grants, the Domestic Export Program will facilitate buyer connections in regional markets and offer technical assistance, focusing on business and marketing skills that will help Vermont business succeed in out-of-state markets. This Domestic Export program assists Vermont companies to leverage the Vermont brand and access regional markets.
“The trade show assistance grant is an important step to assuring our Vermont businesses are prepared and able to succeed in out-of-state markets” said Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross. “Trade shows require a large capital investment from small businesses, but they offer a significant opportunity to connect with out-of-state buyers. These funds will support early and growth stage Working Lands businesses to grow sales and increase their economic impact on the state of Vermont.”
Associations such as the Vermont Specialty Food Association and Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association have assisted Vermont businesses attending domestic trade shows in the past. In recent years, Vermont forest products have been featured at shows like the High Point Market in High Point, NC and the Fine Furnishings Show in Providence, RI.
In addition, shows such as the Summer Fancy Food Show and Natural Products Expo East routinely have a strong Vermont showing. In July of 2014, 28 Vermont businesses exhibited their wares at the Summer Fancy Food Show, the Big Apple’s signature event for specialty foods.
The state continues to look for new venues, such as The Vermont Building at the Eastern States Exposition, and Boston Public Market, where it can further influence the sale of Vermont food and forest products.
The Domestic Export Program is administered by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. For more information about The Domestic Export Program, contact Reg Godin at Reg.Godin@state.vt.us or (802) 522-3648, and visit http://agriculture.vermont.gov/producer_partner_resources/market_access_development/domestic_export