Mid-Atlantic Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (MATAAC) is one of eleven regional non-profits chartered by the Department of Commerce to make small businesses more globally competitive.
This is achieved by MATAAC performing a comprehensive assessment of a business, developing a business plan, and then providing up to a $150,000 cost-shared grant that may be used for a variety of business development projects. Categories of projects and the consultation thereof are far too numerous to list but they range from market research to systems installation and training to financial management training and everything in between.
Who may receive the grant?
Unlike many grant programs, this is not something that a company must both qualify for and bid on. For MATAAC, roughly speaking, grants are given simply on the basis of the firm’s intrinsic situation- sales and employment.
How does it work?
The first step is just a cursory glance at a business’s employment and sales figures. If the company can demonstrate a slight decrease in those two factors, it is highly likely that it will be certified for a MATAAC grant. Any and all financial information we receive is completely confidential. The information MATAAC receives is strictly for the purposes of qualifying a firm and providing professional analysis of the best path forward.
After being certified, MATAAC pays a visit to the business in order to get a feel for the company and industry- much the way any management consulting company would do. MATAAC then writes what is called an Adjustment Plan which is basically a business plan to be used as an assessment of where the business was, is and should be. They use this to give suggestions as to what direction the company should take with business development projects.
There’s always a catch. In this case, it’s the cost-sharing aspect. The grant awarded must be dollar-for-dollar matched by the qualified firm. As the grant is drawn from federal funds, it is incumbent upon the firm to put equal investment to the firm as the US taxpayer has. Taxpayer spends $1, the firms spends $1. Simple and fair.
Beyond that, there is no requirement to spend all the money granted. There is no loan repayment to MATAAC. There are no specific projects demanded. The firm dictates the direction it wants to go.
In its decades of operation, MATAAC has achieved staggering success in turning businesses around. Simply put, there are no programs in the Mid-Atlantic region that offer the level of assistance MATAAC does in both scope and comprehensiveness.
For more information, please visit the MATAAC website at http://mataac.org.