Who will implement approved projects? Are we restricted to using a limited pool of â€œapprovedâ€ consultants to implement projects through the program? Who selects the consultants?What if I don’t know of any consultants that can perform the tasks?
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) is a unique program, sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, built specifically for manufacturers adversely affected by imports. This program offers up to $75,000 in matching funds to cost share $150,000 IN PROJECTS. These projects are strategically chosen to enhance the company’s position within the global market place and are facilitated with outside expertise, consulting and technical services in areas of MARKETING, GENERAL AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, and MANUFACTURING PROCESSES.
For smaller firms there is an option of a 75/25 cost sharing ratio for up to a total of $30,000 in projects with a maximum TAAF cost share of $22,500.
TAAF assists U.S. manufacturing and service firms that are autonomous legal entities. The firm must be in business for at least two consecutive years. To qualify, a manufacturing firm must have lost some domestic business to imports, and experienced sales and employment declines or an impending threat of decline over the last two years. There are many permutations to these simple parameters. Let an ASI Project Manager assist you before you count your firm out.
Certification can take up to 90 days from the time ASI submits your application to the U.S. Economic Development Administrationon your firm’s behalf. Assessment can take from 30-60 days for development and approval. The Adjustment Plan, which details the projects to be funded, can take an additional 45 to 60 days for approval. Finally, the firmâ€™s first implementation project begins after the Adjustment Plan is approved. Typically projects are implemented as cash flow and funding permits, over the span of one to four years.
Is the confidentiality of customer and financial information provided to qualify for the program maintained to protect the applicant firm?
All company information will remain confidential. Information provided will only be used for the express purpose of acquiring funds through the program and is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. None of the information you provide is disclosed to any other federal, state or local agency. Once the petition is submitted, only the firmâ€™s name, address and short product line description will be published in The Federal Register in a listing of potential program participants. (sample listing)
Your firmâ€™s eligibility will be determined on all products manufactured and sold in the United States. If your company also manufactures off shore, the sales and employees associated with those goods will not be included in the certification evaluation. All assistance provided through TAAF must go toward enhancing U.S. manufacturing efforts.
Being a domestic manufacturing subsidiary of a foreign parent corporation does not necessarily make your firm ineligible for assistance. Contact ASI so that we can evaluate your position and eligibility.
ASIâ€™s role is to be an advocate for manufacturers. From application preparation to project implementation, we simplify the process and guide our clients through each step of the program. In addition, we specialize in the eligibility requirements and our experience in the application and requirement variations increases the opportunity for your firmâ€™s certification.
Assistance provided through TAAF is determined by the demand on program, program funding level, and company size, sales and needs. Companies are not given money directly; rather the funds are used toward consulting services to implement approved projects. Companies can qualify for up to $75,000 in funding.
No. The implementation projects are cost shared. ASI will issue a purchase order to the contractor and the manufacturer will issue a purchase order to the contractor. ASI and the manufacturer will be invoiced separately. TAAF is not a reimbursement program; the manufacturer is only responsible for the amount on its purchase order.Â
The cost of the program is shared between the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the manufacturer. The manufacturer is responsible for a one-time fee for the diagnostic analysis and Adjustment Plan, which represents 25% of ASI’s cost. Depending on the type of assistance received, a firm will be responsible for either 25% or 50% of the cost of implementation projects.
The Adjustment Plan or assessment of your firm is a collaborative effort between your management team and ASIâ€™s technical assistance team. Together we will evaluate overall management needs and strategy. With this information we will formulate a viable adjustment strategy and future direction for the company. Once the Adjustment Plan is written your firm will review and discuss any changes to be made with ASI. A plan will not be submitted for U.S. Economic Development Administration review and approval until your firm is in support of the Adjustment Plan.
Improvement projects must be completed by consultants, engineers, or other outside professional service providers. Participants increase their competitiveness by reviving marketing efforts, addressing deficiencies in manufacturing and engineering, obtaining quality certifications, training employees and investing in information technology.
Capital expenditures such as equipment and equipment repairs are not funded. In addition, loans and employees salaries cannot be cost shared by TAAF.
TAAF cannot match funds for any projects that have already started or that have been completed. Any work done prior to the date on ASIâ€™s purchase order is not fundable through the program.
Improvement projects must be completed by consultants, engineers, or other outside professional service providers.
Are we restricted to using a limited pool of approved consultants to implement projects through the program? Who selects the consultants?
The program does not limit you to a list of consultants other than that they must be a legitimate contractor able to do business with the government and that the cost must be in line with scope of work. ASI can assist your firm in selecting a consultant to complete the approved implementation project by preparing and coordinating a request for proposal from multiple bidders, evaluating consultants or negotiating contracts.
ASI has a database of consultants our clients have used in the past. We can recommend consultants who specialize in your implementation project. ASI can assist your firm in selecting a consultant to complete the approved implementation project by preparing requests for proposals, evaluating consultants or negotiation contracts.
Contact us to discuss how your firm, or one familiar to you, can use TAAF.
ASI Project Managers are available for presentations to trade associations, economic development groups, consulting firms, banks and other groups that work closely with manufacturers. Many of these groups find that once they better understand this unique federal assistance program they can recommend it to others and gain recognition as being a valuable resource provider.