Thursday, October 4, 2007

Activities That Have Happened

Q: Can I apply for MAP Branded funds retroactively (after doing an activity)?

A: No, companies must apply and be approved for Branded funds before they can receive reimbursement for an activity. A company may receive reimbursements for eligible promotional activities that occur between the date an application is approved and the last date of the year. Any spending that occurs before the approval date is not reimbursable. However, there are four exceptions pertaining only to trade shows:
  1. Trade show booth expense
  2. Expenses for freight to send samples, displays, and/or literature to trade show
  3. International airfare
  4. Hotel deposits

Reimbursement for the above expenses is only eligible after the associated trade show occurs. These expenses cannot be reimbursed before the activity is over.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Travel Expenses

Q: Can my distributor be reimbursed for travel expenses to promote my products overseas?

A: SUSTA is unable to reimburse any travel expenses for distributors, importers or consultants. SUSTA is only able to reimburse international travel expenses for two employees of the U.S. company that applied for MAP Branded funds. See the MAP Branded Participant Manual for details of eligible travel expenses.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Large Company

Q: What if I am promoting products for a large company? Can they apply for MAP Branded funds?

A: Most large companies do not meet the Small Business Administration (SBA) guidelines that are used to determine whether a company qualifies for the Branded program. However, a small company can apply for funding to promote a large company's products. You would have to provide the Brand Owner Permission form, signed by the owner of the brand, to SUSTA with your MAP Branded application.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Brand Owner Permission

Q: If I sign the Brand Owner Permission form in the MAP Branded application, will this give the company applying for Branded funds the right to sell my products?

A: The Brand Owner Permission form does not give the applicant company the exclusive right to sell products. The form only certifies that the company will promote the products in the country markets listed in their application for MAP Branded funding.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Company from Another Region

Q: My company is based in California. Can we apply for funding with SUSTA?

A: A company from another region must contact the State Regional Trade Group (SRTG) that covers the state where their company is located (in the case of California, this is WUSATA). Four SRTGs work with small agribusinesses in different regions of the United States (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West). If the SRTG in your region is unable to assist you with funding, you may apply for funds through SUSTA.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Can Importers Apply?

Q: Can a foreign importer apply for funding and get reimbursed?

A: No, SUSTA cannot directly reimburse foreign importers under MAP Branded. SUSTA works directly with companies located in the United States (mostly in the southern region of the U.S.). The U.S. company applies for MAP Branded funding by completing an application. If the company has a distributor, the company provides the importer/distributor’s contact information in the application. The U.S. company also provides the importer/distributor’s financial contribution in the application. Once the U.S. company's application is approved and the company provides the signed MAP Branded contract and administration fee (based on the approved allocation), the company works with the importer on promotional activities such as trade shows, in-store demonstrations, and advertisements. After the completion of activities, the following documentation is required for SUSTA to reimburse expenses:

  • The invoice from the original vendor(s) of the good or service to the importer
  • The proof of payment from the importer to the original vendor(s)
  • The invoice from the importer to the MAP Branded participant (U.S. company)
  • The proof of payment from the MAP Branded participant to the importer

The entire paper trail back to the original vendor(s) - whether the vendor(s) is in the United States or in a foreign country - is required for all promotional activity expenses.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Not Brand Owner

Q: What if my company does not own the products I am promoting?

A: If your company does not own the brand name products you are promoting, you must have the owner(s) of the branded products sign the Brand Owner Permission Form in SUSTA's Branded Application ( The original signatures of the brand owner(s) and the applicant company are required on file when applying for MAP Branded funds.

New Company

Q: My company is new, and does not have a brand or the required yearly sales for MAP Branded yet. Can you assist my company?

A: A company is eligible for the Branded program if the following requirements are met:
  • Small according to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) guidelines
    - SBA determines a company’s eligibility according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. Based on a company’s primary industry, the NAICS code indicates the size standards in number of employees or the size standards in millions of dollars
  • Be incorporated in the United States and have a corporate office or production facility from the Southern United States Trade Association’s (SUSTA) region:
    1. Alabama
    2. Arkansas
    3. Florida
    4. Georgia
    5. Kentucky
    6. Louisiana
    7. Maryland
    8. Mississippi
    9. North Carolina
    10. Oklahoma
    11. Puerto Rico
    12. South Carolina
    13. Tennessee
    14. Texas
    15. Virginia
    16. West Virginia
  • Promote a product under a brand name and label the product as “Made in USA”, “Product of U.S.”, or “Made in Louisiana" (the state must be spelled out in its entirety; abbreviations are not accepted)
  • Products must be at least 50% U.S. agricultural origin by weight excluding added water and packaging (Note: The U.S. content of food and agricultural products is determined by the percentage of the finished product measured by weight that originates in the United States). Products must be grown in the U.S.; products that are only processed in the U.S. are not eligible.
  • Have sales of at least $100,000.00 in the previous years
  • Have sufficient products to supply to buyers

    If a company is just starting up, I suggest the company do their research. Once a company meets all the necessary requirements, the company can apply for funding.

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