The TNTrade Market Access Program (MAP) is a reimbursement program designed to enhance export readiness, promotion and sales activities in foreign markets for Tennessee’s small to mid-sized companies. MAP is a valuable tool available to qualifying companies seeking to enter new foreign markets. MAP provides a 50 percent reimbursement for up to $5,000 per year for qualified and approved export activities. This program is funded through a grant awarded from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is managed through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD).
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development office.
For the purpose of this program, it is the selling of goods and/or services produced in Tennessee to another country.
- • Be a Small Enterprise (SME) based on the SBA definition
- • Have been in business for not less than one year from the date of program application
- • Operate profitably, during the most recent fiscal year (or portion thereof if the business has not operated for a complete fiscal year), based on operations in the United States
- • Operate a licensed business in Tennessee to manufacture, assemble and/or distribute a product, or provide an exportable service; if manufactured or produced outside of Tennessee, the product/service must be marketed under the name of a Tennessee firm and have Tennessee content representing at least 51 percent of the value of the finished good and/or service
- • Be in good standing with the Secretary of State
- • Understand the costs associated with exporting and doing business with foreign purchasers, including the costs of freight forwarding, customs brokers, packing and shipping
- • Have a plan for exporting
Any Tennessee business that manufactures, assembles and/or distributes a product, or provides an exportable service; however if manufactured or produced outside of Tennessee, the product must be marketed under the name of a Tennessee firm and have Tennessee content representing at least 51 percent of the value of the finished good and/or service.
Due to the restrictions related to federal funds, the following business may not be principally engaged in:
- • Professional services provided by accountants, doctors or lawyers
- • Banking or lending
- • Real estate development
- • Insurance
- • Oil and gas exploration
- • Direct gambling activities
- • Overseas trade mission participation
- • Overseas trade show participation
- • Domestic trade show participation (must have significant international focus)
- • Foreign market sales trip
- • Subscription to services through the U.S. Commercial Service
- • Independent consultant assistance (CE MARK, CSA, ISO, REACH, CITRA, etc.)
- • Export training workshops
- • Product certification (CE MARK, CSA, ISO, etc.)
- • International marketing media design
- • Website internationalization
- • Marketing collateral translation
- • Airfare* (economy class)
- • Lodging* (room and tax)
- • Ground transportation
- • Translation / Interpreter Fee
- • Trade mission / trade show related fees to include but are not limited to: registration fee, booth fee, equipment rental, utilities and shipments
- • Subscription to services through U.S Commercial Service
- • Independent Consultant Assistance (CE MARK, CSA, ISO, REACH, CITRA, etc.)
- • Fees Associated with export training, certification and consulting
- • Registration and certification costs
- • International media and marketing collateral
- • Website internationalization
*Federal money is subject to the Fly American Act and federal per diem rates apply.
- • Expenses for more than one company employee per MAP activity
- • Compensation, wages or salary of any employee of the MAP recipient
- • Food and beverages
- • Any additional hotel amenities*
- • Phone and Internet usage
- • Capital goods, product samples and supplies
- • Printing costs
*It's federal money and has to adhere to GSA requirements.
Verify that you are eligible, then complete and submit the application. Your application will be reviewed. All required documents are located on the website.
Yes. TNTrade MAP is funded through the SBA's STEP grant, which is a three-year grant program requiring approval by the SBA for each year of its term. ECD has received approval to use STEP funds for the one-year period ending September 30, 2012 and companies seeking MAP reimbursements must incur the approved and qualified expenses on or before this date. ECD intends to apply for funding for the two subsequent 12-month periods of the STEP grant program when such applications are made available by the SBA.
Please submit a completed application to the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development. Complete applications can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with MAP Application in the subject line or mail to:
State of TN- ECD
Attn: TNTrade MAP Application
312 Rosa L Parks Ave., 11th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
Applications are evaluated by a review team on the following criteria: company description (10 points), project description (30 points), economic impact (50 points) and the project budget (10 points); and further are subject to availability of funds.
Applications for funding are evaluated by a review team consisting of representatives from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee Small Business Development Centers and the United States Commercial Service.
Once your application has gone through the review process, you will receive an email. If the company has been approved, you will receive a closing package including a letter stating the amount approved and other required documents. There are several reasons an application may not be approved, but that does not necessarily mean that a company may not apply again.
No. MAP provides a 50 percent reimbursement for up to $5,000 per year for qualified and approved export activities. For example, if a company wants to use MAP funds for a trade mission (and assuming that the company received a letter of approval of $2,000 for the qualifying activity) with total eligible costs of $4,000, then TNTrade will reimburse the company $2,000.
Within 30 days of completion of the approved activity/event, the company must submit the applicable receipts and any other required documentation to TNTrade. Once the reimbursement request is received and verified, a payment will be issued to the company. Be sure to make copies of or scan receipts for your records!
Financial assistance shall not exceed $5,000 per company, per year, with no more than three applications per company, per 12-month period.
Yes. Applications requesting less than $1,000 in reimbursable expenses will not be accepted. Reimbursements will be based on completion of the approved activity with all receipts compiled in one submission. One activity per application with the exception of training – trainings with a cost of less than $1,000 can be included with another training or activity.
Part of the approval for MAP funding requires companies to complete brief, quarterly surveys regarding export activity related to MAP funding.
See the partners section on the website.
Yes. And on that note, a special thanks to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development for allowing us to base the TNTrade MAP program on its Market Access Grant (MAG program).
Contact Patrick Baird at email@example.com or 615/532.1938 with your question. An email will likely get a quicker response, but we understand sometimes it is more difficult to type it out than it may take a quick call. If you get voice mail speak clearly and be sure to include your name, phone number and that your question(s) pertains to MAP.