ATLANTA (June 26, 2017)—GF Health Products, Inc. (Graham-Field) is a recipient of a $5,000 grant and a semi-finalist in the annual Atlanta Metro Export Challenge (Atlanta MEC), a grant competition supported by JPMorgan Chase, UPS and Partnership Gwinnett, which boosts support for small and medium sized businesses looking to begin exporting or to increase their export programs.
Twenty-eight companies from metro Atlanta were selected as semi-finalists and will each receive a reimbursement grant of up to $5,000 to apply toward expenses related to building export capacity and activities.
“It is an honor to be a winner of the annual Atlanta Metro Export Challenge,” said Ken Spett, president and CEO. “The grant will enable Graham-Field to further expand our international tradeshow participation to reach new customers.”
Graham-Field’s Hausted Stretcher and Chair Patient Handling and Lumex Clinical Care Recliner lines are manufactured in our U.S. ISO 13485-certified, U.S. FDA GMP-compliant facilities, and are CE marked. These products have been launched only after dedicated and focused U.S.-based research, engineering, testing and process control. Graham-Field is invested in the international market, and accordingly, seeks out and attends many international shows to keep up with the ever-evolving industry.
To see the full list of grant awardees, click here.
Graham-Field will have a chance to win additional prize money early next year. Each semi-finalist must utilize the grant funds during the second half of 2017, and show export success to be invited back for the second round of competition at Pitch Day—a Shark Tank-style pitch session before a panel of judges. At Pitch Day, companies will present their exportable product or service, their export success with the initial grant and a business plan detailing how they will use additional grant funds to increase exports. The top three companies will receive $20,000 (first place), $10,000 (second place), and $5,000 (third place).
The Atlanta MEC will distribute a total of $200,000 over the course of the competition. This competition is one of the key components of the Atlanta Metro Export Plan (MEP), an initiative launched in June 2015 to stimulate economic growth in the region and create quality jobs through exports. The grants competition aims to encourage area companies to export and drive business growth by increasing international sales of local products and services.
The program was created through a grant from JPMorgan Chase as part of the firm’s ongoing work to promote global competitiveness in metros around the country. This year they are joined by UPS, contributing an additional $25,000, and Partnership Gwinnett, contributing $5,000.
“Companies with global perspectives are more likely to create new jobs and tend to be more resilient and innovative as they respond to global market demand,” said David Balos, head of Chase Middle Market Banking. “We applaud the latest round of winners and believe these export efforts will lead to more job creation and growth for our local economy in Metro Atlanta.”
“We congratulate the first round winners for their innovation and focus on global growth. UPS is honored to be a part of this collaborative effort to encourage metro Atlanta companies to explore and pursue export opportunities,” said Bill Seward, U.S. International President at UPS. “Being an integral part of the Atlanta Metro Export Challenge aligns with UPS’s commitment to expand our customers’ horizons and connect a global community through intelligent logistics networks.”
The Atlanta MEP is being implemented by multiple organizations, including the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the City of Atlanta and Partnership Gwinnett working in partnership with several other regional and local economic development agencies, public and private organizations.
The MEP is the first phase of Atlanta’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase that aims to help leaders in U.S. metropolitan areas reorient their economics toward greater engagement in world markets.
Visit grahamfield.com for more information.