15 USC 649b - Grants, Contracts and Cooperative Agreements for International Marketing Programs

(a) Limitations and restrictions

The Secretary of Commerce (hereinafter referred to as the "Secretary") is authorized to make grants (including contracts and cooperative agreements) to a qualified applicant to encourage the development and implementation of a small business international marketing program (hereinafter referred to as "the program"). Each qualified applicant under sections 649a to 649d of this title may receive a Federal grant not to exceed $150,000 annually for each of three years: Provided, That not more than one-third of these Federal funds may be used for the purpose of hiring personnel. Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing the Secretary to enter into contracts or incur obligations except to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts.

(b) Eligibility

(1) To be eligible for a grant under this section, an applicant proposing to carry out a small business international marketing program must submit to the Secretary an application demonstrating, at a minimum:

(A) the geographical area to be served;

(B) the number of firms to be assisted;

(C) the staff required to administer the program;

(D) the means to counsel small businesses interested in pursuing export sales, including providing information concerning available financing, credit insurance, tax treatment, potential markets and marketing assistance, export pricing, shipping, documentation, and foreign financing and business customs;

(E) the ability to provide market analysis of the export potential of small business concerns; and

(F) the capability for developing contacts with potential foreign customers and distributors for  small  business  and  their  products, including arrangements and sponsorship of foreign trade missions for small business concerns to meet with identified potential customers, distributors, sales representatives, and organizations interested in licensing or joint ventures: Provided, however, That no portion of any Federal funds may be used to directly underwrite any small business participation in foreign trade missions abroad.

(2) Program services shall be provided to small business concerns through outreach services at the most local level practicable.

(3) Each small business international marketing program shall have a full-time staff director to manage program activities, and access to export specialists to counsel and to assist small business clients in international marketing.

(c) Advisory board establishment

(1) Each small business international marketing program shall establish an advisory board of nine members to be appointed by the staff director of the program, not less than five members of whom shall be small business persons or representatives of small business associations.

(2) Each advisory board shall elect a chairman and shall advise, counsel, and confer with the staff director of the program on all policy matters pertaining to the operation of the program (including who may be eligible to receive assistance, ways to promote the sale of United States products and services in foreign markets or to encourage tourism in the United States, and how to maximize local and regional private consultant participation in the program).

(d) Grant requirements

The Secretary shall require, as a condition to any grant (or amendment or modification thereof) made to an applicant under this section, that a sum equal to the amount of such grant be provided from sources other than the Federal Government: Provided, That the additional amount shall not include any amount of indirect costs or in-kind contributions paid for under any Federal program, nor shall indirect costs or in-kind contributions exceed 50 per centum of the non-Federal additional amount.

(e) Program evaluation; reports

The Secretary shall develop a plan to evaluate programs approved under this section which shall only—

(1) determine the impact of small business international marketing programs on those small businesses assisted;

(2) determine the amount of export sales generated by small businesses assisted through such programs; and

(3) make recommendations concerning continuation and/or expansion of the program and possible improvements in the program structure. Such evaluation shall be submitted to the Congress by October 1, 1982.

(f) Recipients' duty to furnish information

For the purpose of the evaluation under subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary is authorized to require any small business international marketing program, or party receiving assistance under this section, to furnish such information as is deemed appropriate to complete the required evaluation.

(g) "Applicant" defined

As used in this section, the term "applicant" means any State government or agency or instrumentality thereof, any Small Business Administration—designated small business development center, any for profit small business, any nonprofit corporation, any regional commission, or any combination of such entities, which will carry out a small business international marketing program.

(h) Contract authority

The authority to enter into contracts shall be in effect for each fiscal year only to the extent or in the amounts as are provided in advance in appropriation Acts.

(Pub. L. 96–481, title III, §302, Oct. 21, 1980, 94 Stat. 2331.)

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Last modified: October 26, 2015