Six Greater Phoenix companies were awarded grants on Monday, August 14 in the inaugural Export Explore Program under the Metro Phoenix Export Alliance (MPEXA). A dozen companies originally submitted to participate in the first pitch competition, to earn funding to help assist with export growth opportunities.

The Export Explore program – made possible with the philanthropic support of Chase – helps companies through a two part program, including an education component consisting of up to 20 hours of in-kind professional services – in addition to the cash grant of $4,000 per company to cover qualified future export-related business expenses.

This year, the following companies received awards:  Admiral Instruments, AniCell Biotech, Autoline Industries, EyeTech Digital, PB Americano, and THE OKB, LLC.

“The companies selected to receive the Export Explore Award have shown great potential for global growth,” said Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO, and MPEXA co-chair Chris Camacho. “In supporting their success, we are also helping our region and cities become stronger.”

Leading researchers predict that international markets will outpace the U.S. in overall economic and consumer growth. Emerging markets are creating tremendous demand for infrastructure, consumer products, and business services that meets the needs of an urbanizing, middle-class society.

Yet for a small and medium size business, pursuing an export plan can be a daunting task. Thus, programs such as this, made possible by the support of the Partnership for Economic Innovation and the philanthropic support of Chase, offer assistance to help companies get started and tap into existing resources.

“We are proud to support the continued work to enhance the ability of businesses in the Phoenix Metro to export their goods and services,” said Craig Zollinger, JPMorgan Chase’s Region Manager for the Commercial Bank in Arizona. “The Export Explore program is providing businesses with the training and tools they need to grow and create jobs in the region.”

For every $1 billion in U.S. exports, 5,744 jobs are created. In sum, about one-in-five Americans and Arizonans respectively have jobs directly supported by our trade with the rest of the world. Arizona exported $22.6 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2015. Arizona’s largest markets in 2015 were Mexico ($9.2 billion) and Canada ($2.2 billion).

In addition to the Export Explore program, the Export Challenge will take place in the fall where 10 qualified and eligible new exporters, under-exporters, and active exporters will be allowed to participate in a pitch competition with a top prize valued at $25,000; a second prize of $15,000 and a third of $10,000 given to the best export business plans, to cover qualified future export-related business expenses.