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Kentucky Small Businesses Can Still Sign Up for Kentucky Export Initiative Trade Mission to Canada

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 31, 2015) Want to take your business global? Theres still time to sign up for Gov. Steve Beshears Kentucky Export Initiative (KEI) trade mission to Canada.

The deadline to register for the May 25-30 trade mission has been extended to April 7. Numerous companies have already signed up, and only a few openings remain. Grant funding through the State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) program is available to help qualified small businesses offset the cost of the trip.

Canadas proximity to Kentucky makes it a very accessible market and a great opportunity for our small businesses to grow internationally, said Mandy Lambert, commissioner of business development in the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. Kentucky companies participating in the trade mission will be personally matched with businesses and distribution networks in Canada. These meetings will be key to establishing relationships and laying the groundwork for potential deals. I would encourage any Kentucky small business that wants to grow to join us for this unique opportunity.

The trade mission will focus on increasing commerce and building relationships between Kentuckys small businesses and the Canadian market. The KEI delegation will make stops in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto.

The visit will be KEIs second trade and investment mission to Canada. Gov. Beshear led a delegation to our northern neighbors in June 2013.

Canada is home to one of the worlds largest economies and is Kentuckys largest trade partner. The Commonwealth exported more than $7.6 billion in products and services to Canada last year.

Kentucky exports to Canada have played a key role in boosting the Commonwealths economy. In 2014, Kentuckys exports of products and services to Canada generated $4.3 billion for Kentuckys GDP and supported more than 51,000 jobs in the state.

The mission follows another record export year for Kentucky. Exports of Kentucky-made products and services during 2014 totalled $27.5 billion. Kentucky exported to 191 nations last year.

Gov. Beshear created the KEI to bring together agencies and organizations to help facilitate international trade opportunities for Kentucky businesses. The KEI partnership includes the Cabinet for Economic Development and other government entities, business organizations and trade experts.

Companies interested in participating in the trade mission are encouraged to act quickly due to limited spacing. Sponsorship opportunities also are available. For more information and to register, visit www.kyexports.com.