Tuesday morning, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) announced 12 grant recipients joining the 2021 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge (Atlanta MEC) class. The Atlanta MEC provides small-and medium-sized metro Atlanta businesses with funding and tailored mentorship to help develop international business prospects. Each company receives a reimbursement grant of $5,000 to be spent on activities aimed at fostering international sales growth, specialized trade consulting and travel vouchers provided by Delta Air Lines.

Applications for this year’s cohort opened May 17. As in years past, the Atlanta MEC offers each company the opportunity to come back and pitch for more funding once they’ve made use of the first tranche.  

According to a release, 2020 MEC businesses innovated new ways to apply program resources when the COVID-19 pandemic halted international travel. Companies employed MEC grants to update their websites toward increasing accessibility and discoverability by international customers, ensure alignment with European data privacy regulations, add certifications and conduct virtual product presentations to international prospects.

For the 2021 Atlanta MEC, MAC assembled the largest group of sponsors and partners in program history – across local, state and federal levels – to support the initiative. Program partners include the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, Decide DeKalb, Delta Air Lines, Georgia District Export Council, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Partnership Gwinnett Select Fulton, Select Cobb and the U.S. Commercial Service.

“Building upon metro Atlanta’s continued momentum as a global trade hub depends on nurturing a pipeline of innovative businesses and equipping entrepreneurs with the guidance and resources they need to bring their products and services to the world,” said MAC President and CEO Katie Kirkpatrick. “The Atlanta Metro Export Challenge is the perfect vehicle through which to accomplish this, as evidenced by the notable success of participant companies. I salute the 2021 class and thank our regional, state and federal partners and sponsors for making this important initiative possible.”

An independent selection committee identified the 12 grant recipients from a highly competitive pool of applicants. Recipient companies represent a wide range of industries, including finance and insurance; information technology; manufacturing; professional, scientific, and technical services; retail trade; and wholesale trade. Recipient company ownership reflects the vibrant, diverse population of metro Atlanta. Three companies identify as minority-owned, three as women-owned and one as veteran-owned.

The 2021 Atlanta MEC Class:

• Aquagenuity, Inc.
• Astral Brands
• Banyan Hills Technologies
• Blind Tiger Communications
• Emrgy, Inc.
• Foundry 45
• GIS WebTech
• IML Corporation
• Jetaire Group
• Safely.com
• Spectrum International Group
• United Soft Plastics, Inc.

MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on expanding the region’s innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta’s innovation and entrepreneurial culture.

(Graphic courtesy: Metro Atlanta Chamber)

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