Get Funding for Projects to Help Beat Import Competition
Manufacturers that are directly affected by import competition may qualify for help from the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program (TAAF). This federal program, offering up to $75,000 in matching funds, is specifically designed to help smaller firms recover and improve their global competitiveness. For Michigan manufacturers, the TAAF program is managed by the Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (GLTAAC). Through the program, GLTAAC helps qualified import-injured companies identify, develop, staff, and pay for
critical business improvement projects.
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) is the only federal program specifically designed to help small manufacturers that have been directly hurt by imports. The Great Lakes TAAC (gltaac.org) runs the program in Michigan. Through the program, GLTAAC helps import-injured companies identify, develop, staff, and pay for business improvement projects designed to improve their overall competitiveness.
TAAF funding helps manufacturers tackle issues that can help them rebuild sales, find new customers, improve efficiency, adopt new technologies, and diversify. TAAF assistance strengthens import-challenged firms, making them more resilient as they face threats such as COVID-19. Eligible firms receive up to $75,000 in matching funds to hire private sector consultants to implement projects of their choosing. Key to the success of the program for
firms are the flexibility it offers (in both potential projects and providers), as well as its focus on the long run. Most TAAF clients complete 2-4 projects through the program over a 3-5 year period.
TAAF assists clients in projects to help both the top and bottom lines. Here are some recent examples of projects TAAF has co-funded for GLTAAC’s Michigan clients:
Michigan Client starts TAAF with Strategy and Job Quoting Projects - When their TAAF funding was approved, this machining firm knew exactly what projects to do. They had worked with GLTAAC to create their Adjustment Plan, which sets the course for how a manufacturer spends their TAAF matching funds. With the plan approved, they quickly chose consultants to start two projects. First, they began implementing a new job quoting system to improve their responsiveness, increase their win rate, and maintain margins. They also undertook a thorough SWOT of their business to guide future improvements and develop sales. In under 3 months, both projects have now been completed.
Michigan manufacturer completes project to define cost structure - This GLTAAC client knew that a better understanding of their cost structure would help them quote more competitively. So, for their first co-funded TAAF project, they selected a consultant to examine their costs, develop a pricing model, and analyze their SKU’s. The result not only allows them to provide competitive quotes (possibly to new markets), but also helps them reinforce lean concepts and increase both revenue and productivity. Total cost for the project was $37.5K (TAAF paid half)
GLTAAC Client and TAAF Program Profiled in MIBiz Article - When they lost sales to foreign competition, GLTAAC client Avio-Tech (Twin Lake, MI) turned to GLTAAC and the TAAF program for help. Now you can read about Avio-Tech’s experience in the 9/27/2020 MIBiz article “Great Lakes trade center helps manufacturers compete with imports.” Not only did Avio-Tech benefit from TAAF matching funds, they also found an ally in GLTAAC. “Every day you end up having issues…which require something that needs to be solved and I’ve used them as a resource to talk about specifics,” states Lee Thomas, President of Avio-Tech.
GLTAAC Director, Scott Jacobs was recently interviewed for the Podcast: The Job Shop Show. Listen here.
If import competition has hurt your sales, don’t put off learning more about GLTAAC. Check out our website (www.gltaac.org), or contact GLTAAC Project Manager, Jani Hatchett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734.998.6227. Jani can quickly review the TAAF program with you and help you determine if your firm would qualify for TAAF matching funds.