MCILEDC can put you in touch with a variety of state and local programs and services designed to improve your company’s capacity to export. Contact for help in accessing these export assistance programs.

MCILEDC, in collaboration with the International Trade Center, the Illinois Trade Office, and the Southwest Illinois Trade and Investment Council, stands ready to address barriers that discourage or limit exports and/or foreign direct investment in the region. We will direct existing and potential global exporters to the exporting assistance programs/services that are available. Some possible activities that the MCILEDC will spearhead are reverse foreign trade missions, individual and group foreign market sales missions, local seminars and events focused on increasing exports and foreign direct investment, participation in trade shows, marketing through the Illinois Foreign Trade offices, mentoring programs to assist businesses interested in starting and increasing exports, and foreign direct investment leads.

The SIUE International Trade Center in Edwardsville provides assistance with international trade and exporting. The Center offers information, counseling, and training to existing and new-to-export companies interested in pursuing international trade opportunities such as:

  • Evaluation of company’s readiness to export
  • Access to foreign market information
  • Documentation assistance
  • Automated trade leads
  • Linkages with trade representatives

Illinois State and Export Promotion Program (ISTEP) provides export ready businesses with 500 or less employees, and annual revenues over $250K, with financial and technical assistance to increase their exports. Assistance is provided on a first come, first served basis for qualified companies. The financial assistance secured through ISTEP can be used as follows:

  • Illinois Group Trade Missions: Financial assistance available for trade show booth fees, group ground transportation, matchmaking fees, interpreters, briefing materials, and assistance with travel logistics. Funding level is 25-75% travel cost reimbursement, not to exceed $5,000.
  • Individual Foreign Market Sales Mission: Financial assistance for 25%-75% travel cost reimbursement, not to exceed $7,500 per company.
  • Product Compliance Certification: Financial assistance for 50% of costs, $2,000 per company.
  • International Marketing Support: Funding available for website translation services, brand development and overall foreign website (country specific). Financial assistance for 50% of the costs, not to exceed $3,000 per company.
  • Export Education Programs: Financial assistance available not to exceed $1,000 per company to participate in the Illinois ExportTech program to increase trade knowledge and experience resulting in increased opportunities for export success.

Southwest Illinois Trade and Investment Council. MCILEDC’s membership in this regional organization allows businesses who are currently located, or planning to locate, in the MCILEDC service area to have access to regional trade missions, educational events on exporting, and other service strategies. These events improve chances for success in exporting and foreign direct investment opportunities.

Foreign Trade Zone Benefits. Businesses located in our service area have the option to apply for Foreign Trade Zone status and subsequently for their goods to be received, stored, manipulated, exhibited, re-labeled, tested, destroyed, sampled, exported, repacked or remixed with Domestic Goods with NO duties paid going into their zone area.

  • If eligible, benefits may include deferral of custom duties while in the zone; reduction of duties when finished product has rate lower than the imported parts; elimination of duties on goods brought into the zone and then re-exported; elimination of duties for merchandise that is scrapped, wasted, destroyed, or consumed in the zone; relief from state and/or local ad valorem taxes on merchandise held in zone for export; pay only a single entry MPF no matter how many shipments received in a week.