Click here to read a synopsis of the BEAM region Global Trade and Investment Plan.
The Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM) was launched by Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville and Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington in 2011, setting in motion new regional strategies for building the future of the state’s two largest metropolitan areas.
With a particular focus on increasing the capacity and productivity of the advanced manufacturing sector, BEAM builds on the robust production and impressive innovation that already characterizes these two cities and the twenty counties that surround and connect them.
Research shows that exporting firms—whether manufacturing or services--grow faster, can afford to pay their workers better, and withstand economic downturns better than non-exporting firms. About 90% of Kentucky’s exporters are small and mid-sized firms (SMEs), most with fewer than 20 employees. Yet, many of these firms do not export as much as they could. Many more SMEs don’t export at all.
To ensure a long and healthy future, U.S. firms—and Kentucky firms—need to fully participate in global opportunities. Global consumption spending is set to more than double by 2035. More than 80% of this growth in spending is happening outside the U.S. and Europe.
BEAM is working hard to support firms that want to grow through export development. In 2014, companies throughout the region helped meet the Mayors’ goal to increase export successes among BEAM SMEs by 50% in five years. This goal was achieved in just three years, thanks in part to a generous award from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation that provided grants to future and current exporters. Now the Mayors have set a new goal to increase export successes among SMEs in four years. Once again, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation is committed to helping make this goal a reality.
The BEAM International 2.0 Export Promotion Grant is made possible by a generous award from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Qualifying firms can receive up to $5,000 to prepare for exporting activity, identify new sales opportunities, purchase market research, participate in meetings, trade shows, and trade missions, and more.