Market Finder Reimbursement
Highly motivated eligible businesses will work with the Export Promotion Program of the West Virginia Development Office to explore new markets of opportunity using the Initial Market Check and other services offered by the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This service provides an initial assessment of market potential of a product or service in a targeted market by gathering feedback from up to five industry participants and provides a recommendation on whether to pursue the target market.
Market Finder Reimbursements will be awarded to eligible small businesses to offset 75% of the cost of the market study. The remaining 25% will be considered a required matching contribution by the applicant. The maximum reimbursement per participating business per funding year under this program is $1,500. Participating businesses are welcome to compete for additional funding using any of the other available West Virginia First STEP- Next STEP reimbursement programs. The West Virginia First STEP-Next STEP funding period is October 1, 2018 through September 29, 2020.
Participating firms will follow up with a proposed export strategy to pursue at least one of the target markets based on the results of the study. Proposed export strategies must include the execution of an export marketing activity such as participation in trade shows, sales trips, product demonstrations, website marketing, and the Gold Key Service. Proposed export marketing activities can be funded by the West Virginia First STEP-Next STEP Program if it is available and all the eligibility criteria is met.
Applicants must demonstrate sufficient export readiness, resources and experience to enter or expand into new markets and a high level of commitment to follow up on the results of the market study.
Eligible small businesses must meet the following criteria in order to be considered to receive a Market Finder Reimbursement.
- Is organized or incorporated in the United States
- Has a physical address located in West Virginia
- Complies with The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards
- Has been in business for no less than one (1) year
- Has access to sufficient resources to bear the cost associated with trade, including the costs of packing, shipping, freight forwarding, and customs brokers.
- Has a finished product or qualifying service with at least 51% U.S. content
- Is not barred from receiving federal funds
- Is in good standing with the West Virginia State Department of Tax and Revenue
- Agrees to complete one post-event survey, and one program closeout survey during the first year, and a yearly performance survey for the next two years
WV Economic Development: Expedited Permitting Process
About the Program
Economic development projects now have the opportunity to receive expedited permitting. West Virginia offers certificates of critical economic concern for high priority projects. The designation is awarded to projects meeting a set of criteria based on the project’s projected economic impact. These projects will require regular, completed permit application status update reporting from agencies to the permit applicant, the West Virginia Development Office and the Governor.
Executive Order No. 9-18
The program was created by Governor Jim Justice, Executive Order No. 9-18, and is managed by the West Virginia Development Office.
How to Apply
Electronic form below. Applicants should be aware that not all projects submitted are eligible.
Questions? Contact Us.
West Virginia is the right place to locate.
WV Ready, a site certification and readiness program, was developed to make the evaluation of WV industrial sites more efficient and effective for companies and consultants.
WV READY Program Goals:
- De-risk selection of a WV site for companies
- Reduce a company’s capital investment cost
- Accelerate a company’s ability to get to market
How will WV Ready achieve program goals?
- Develop high valued industrial sites
- Increase quantity of available industrial sites
- Improve quality of available industrial sites
>WV Ready, certified sites are:
- Controlled with an asking price
- Have completed due diligence
- Can achieve permits quickly
Are you ready to become a West Virginia Ready Site?
Available, ready industrial properties are essential for West Virginia to remain competitive for industrial recruitment. The WV READY program supports local economic development groups through technical assistance in readying industrial properties and evaluating potential industrial sites.
WV READY is a three-step process:
Step 1: Intent to Apply
This short letter will be completed by the local economic development board and submitted to WV READY. Up to ten properties may be identified in this submission. The WV READY team will select sites for participation in this program.
Download the Intent to Apply Template
Deadline: April 30, 2018
Step 2: Application
Upon receipt of the Intent to Apply letter, submitted sites will be reviewed by a selection committee, and the Economic Development Board will be sent a WV Ready application.
|Note: Only groups that have successfully completed and submitted the Letter of Interest and the Application by the deadline will be eligible to participate.|
The Economic Development Board for a selected site will receive a WV READY site inventory application. The site inventory application along with the site documentation shall be completed and submitted by the Economic Development Board. Successful applicants will be notified via email and/or telephone to the primary contacts listed on the Intent to Apply letter.
|Note: A limited number of site will be selected to participate in WV READY Evaluation program. Sites will be selected to participate through a competitive application process.|
|Note: Incomplete applications will be returned, and sites will not be evaluated.|
Step 3: Site Readiness Evaluation
The WV READY team will prepare a final report that addresses the property's readiness along with its strengths and weaknesses. Recommendations to improve the site’s readiness and marketability will be included.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the deadline to submit Intent to Apply for participation in WV READY?
The deadline for submission of the Intent to Apply is April 30, 2018.
Who is eligible to participate in WV READY?
A local or regional economic development organization.
A municipality whose site’s boundary falls within its jurisdiction.
A county government whose site’s boundary fall within its jurisdiction.
Can a private property owner have a site certified?
A private property owner’s site can be certified if they are sponsored by an eligible governmental agency.
Is there a minimum acreage size for sites to be included?
Yes, the minimum size of an eligible site is 20 Acres.
Is there a fee for applying to the WV READY program?
No fee is required for participation.
Are application expenses eligible for reimbursement?
No, expenses incurred prior to the date of a contract with the State are not eligible for reimbursement.
How can funds be utilized?
Eligible uses of funds may include, but are not limited to, completion of due diligence items such as environmental work, archeological work, engineering, or purchase of property.
Can “In-Kind” services or funds be used as match?
The governmental agency will be the controlling entity. Any funds or in-kind services shall be donated to the governmental agency. The governmental agency will retain ownership of the work produced by any donated funds or services. In-kind services must be detailed in a technical services agreement to qualify and must be billed. In-kind services from one entity shall be limited to no more than 25% of the award.
Is grant administration for LED an eligible expense on Site Readiness Matching Grants?
No, any administration costs incurred by the applicant should be covered by the applicant and is not reimbursable.
Contact for Media:
Chelsea A. Ruby
Director of Marketing and Communications
West Virginia Department of Commerce