Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

MRPC board learns of Missouri export opportunities within the region

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Bonnie Prigge

ST. JAMES—In 2018, Missouri export sales totaled $14.5 billion. In the Meramec Region, export sales totaled $263.1 million. At the Aug. 8 Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) board meeting, Natascha Lord with the Missouri Department of Economic Development (MoDED) explained different possibilities available to the region in regards to increasing these export sales. 

Crawford County had the most export sales with $77.11 million in 2018 with Pulaski County exporting the least with only $4.92 million in sales. Top exports in the region include computer and electronic product manufacturing, chemical manufacturing and food manufacturing. 

Graphic provided by the Missouri Department of Economic Development

Missouri has 12 foreign offices, which can provide services free of charge to Missouri businesses wanting to export goods. Those services include:

  • Agent distributor search (flagship product of her office that assists in finding international customers),
  • Conducting background checks,
  • Customizing marketing and research, 
  • Issuing certificates of free sale, 
  • Export financing, 
  • Customizing company missions (setting up appointments with potential partners),
  • Transportation and logistics, and 
  • Interpretation services.

Lord presented on two different types of export programs that MoDED offers to benefit Missouri businesses and encourage international exports. 

The first is the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant program. This three-year pilot trade and export initiative works to make matching-fund grants for states to assist eligible small businesses owners enter and succeed in the international marketplace. The program, funded in part by the Small Business Administration, and provides support for participation in foreign trade missions and market sales trips, subscription to services provided by the Department of Commerce, design of international marketing products and campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training and other efforts that align with the STEP goals.

The second opportunity Lord discussed with the board was the Global Market Access Program (G-MAP). This program works to target small businesses, primarily manufacturers, with 500 employees or less and with annual sales of $25 million or less. Again, the program works to help businesses participate in trade shows that market your products to a worldwide audience through a cost-share. These businesses must strive to export “Made in Missouri” products that have content consisting of 51% of Missouri manufactured parts, labor or value-added content.

Missouri businesses can qualify for up to $15,000 for each program, for a total of $30,000 for marketing each year. For more information on Missouri’s export program, visit the Department of Economic Development’s website at https://exportmissouri.mo.gov/exports/home.

Graphic provided by the Missouri Department of Economic Development

In other business, the MRPC board: 

  • Heard a legislative update from Ray Bozarth with Sen. Hawley’s office about spending caps, the BRO program, and the Rocheport Bridge INFRA grant award;
  • Requested board help in soliciting silent auction items for the MRPC Oct. 24 Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet to be held in Waynesville at the Stonebrooke Center;
  • Approved staff salary comparisons; 
  • Approved a loan to a Salem business though MRPC’s Revolving Loan Fund;
  • Heard an update from Central Workforce Development Board Chair T.R. Dudley on changes within the workforce investment board; and
  • Learned that membership dues letters would be mailed soon and would reflect a 3 percent increase approved by the board last year. Board approved the hour allocation policy that sets forth the number of hours included with membership with hours being the same as last year. 

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 25 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.