ATLANTA – February 19, 2020 – Today, the Metro Atlanta Chamber announced the 12 grant recipients joining the 2020 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge (Atlanta MEC) cohort. The Atlanta MEC is a regional grant program designed to challenge small- to medium-sized companies in metro Atlanta to explore international expansion efforts.
Each grant recipient receives a reimbursement grant of $5,000 that can be used for expenses related to growing international sales. Grant recipients also benefit from a series of workshops and meetings throughout the year that assist in the development of global sales plans. The Metro Atlanta Chamber, Delta Air Lines, Decide DeKalb, District Export Council, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Forward Forsyth, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, Partnership Gwinnett, Select Cobb and U.S. Commercial Service all contribute financial or programmatic resources to the initiative.
Selected from across the 29-county metro Atlanta region by an independent panel of judges, the 12 grant recipients represent a wide array of industries, including advanced manufacturing, bioscience & healthcare, sports and entertainment, education and more. They are:
2020 Atlanta MEC Cohort
“Metro Atlanta is home to an ever-growing international business community. The real value of a program like the Metro Export Challenge is in supporting these diverse, innovative companies doing work at a global scale,” said Metro Atlanta Chamber President and CEO Hala Moddelmog. “Their success abroad leads to job creation here in our region, and they serve as ambassadors for Atlanta around the world. I would like to congratulate the 2020 cohort and thank our partners in the region for their continuous support. Their commitment to the program is a testament to collaboration toward a greater goal.”
In November, there will be a Pitch Day in which five grant recipients of the 2020 cohort will pitch their export plans in front of a live audience and panel of judges for a chance to win an additional $20,000 in grant funding.
About the Metro Atlanta Chamber
The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta's quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on growing the region's innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta's innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and telling Atlanta's story. For more information, visit www.metroatlantachamber.com.
Between 2016 and 2019, the Atlanta MEC has supported 96 companies with over $400,000 to grow their international sales. These 12 additional companies will be part of the 2020 cohort.
The past MEC grant recipients employ more than 2,300 employees in metro Atlanta, the 2020 cohort employs 459 employees. In a survey of former grant recipients, 97% indicated they are planning to add new jobs in the next 24 months.
The grant recipients (2016-2020) represent 13 counties in metro Atlanta.
Grant recipients attended 52 trade shows in 22 unique markets to showcase their products and services and served as ambassadors of metro Atlanta.
Four grant recipients have been acquired since the implementation of the MEC program.