What is the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program?
Established by Congress in 1974, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce to help American manufacturers who have been negatively impacted by foreign competition. A group of 11 nonprofit TAA centers throughout the U.S. work with eligible firms to improve their business competitiveness in the global market. Show/Hide
Is this the same program as Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers?
What can Trade Adjustment Assistance do for my firm?
Firms receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance have experienced the following benefits: cost-share funding for eligible improvement projects, objective analysis of their firm as well as their competition, and ongoing support to improve business performance and profits.
How can I find out if I am eligible?
TAAC will assist you in determining program eligibility based on sales, employment and import activity. Contact us at 816-666-9420.
How long do I need to be in business to be eligible?
A firm needs to be in business at a minimum of two years.
How do I get started?
Contact us at 816-666-9420.
Do companies compete for TAAF technical assistance and cost sharing of improvement projects?
No. Firms only need to meet eligibility criteria to be considered for the TAAF program.
Do you charge my firm for completing the petition certification application?
No. The petition certification application is completed by TAAC free of charge.
Do you charge my firm for completing the adjustment proposal application?
There is a small fee for development of the adjustment proposal application depending on the amount of grant funding request. This amount ranges from $1,500 - $2,500.
How much improvement project cost sharing is available?
The actual amount of cost share is established by the firm and TAAC as part of developing an adjustment proposal for the firm. There are two cost share options, a 50/50 percent cost share option and a 25/75 percent cost share option.
50/50 percent cost share option – There is a maximum of $150,000 of total project cost sharing under this option on a 50/50 percent (firm/government) cost share basis. This means a maximum of $150,000 of projects could be funded with the firm paying 50 percent of the costs to the consultant and the government paying 50 percent of the costs to the consultant.
25/75 percent cost share option – There is a maximum of $30,000 of total project cost sharing under this option on a 25/75 percent (firm/government) cost share basis. This means a maximum of $30,000 of projects could be funded with the firm paying 25 percent of the costs to the consultant and the government paying 75 percent of the costs to the consultant.
When can I implement improvement projects to be cost shared?
Access to cost share technical assistance funding is a two-step process. First is certification of firm's eligibility. Depending on the complexity of the firm and the availability of needed support documentation, Mid-America TAAC can usually create a Petition application within a few weeks. Upon receipt of the petition, EDA performs an analysis of the petition and supporting documents to determine if the petition is complete and may be accepted. The review process may require clarification between EDA and the TAAC prior to acceptance. EDA is required to make a final determination on the petition within 40 days of accepting a petition. The second step is the approval of a firm's business recovery (Adjustment Proposal) plan. Mid-America TAAC can usually create an adjustment proposal application within a few weeks. Once EDA has received an Adjustment Proposal, they must render a decision within 60 days. After an Adjustment Proposal has been approved by EDA, firms can then implement improvement projects to be cost shared.
Cost share and implementation
Can I use the cost share for anything I want?
Eligible project categories are Finance, Marketing/Sales, Management, Production, and Support Systems. TAAC project managers work directly with each firm to outline eligible projects the firm wants included within each of these categories in their adjustment proposal. TAAC can then cost share the expenses to pay for outside industry experts to implement these projects. TAAC cannot cost share the expenses to purchase to purchase capital equipment or to fund any operational expenses.
Can I implement more than one improvement project?
Yes. As per the firm's adjustment proposal (recovery plan), multiple improvement projects can be implemented.
Is there a timeframe for implementing all improvement projects?
Yes. Once an adjustment proposal is approved, the firm has up to five years to implement all improvement projects.
Can TAAC cost share employee training?
Yes. TAAC can cost share on-site or off-site employee training. However, TAAC cannot cost share or subsidize employee salaries.
Can TAAC cost share product or process certification?
Yes. TAAC can cost share a variety of product and process certifications.
Can TAAC cost share equipment purchases?
No. TAAC cannot cost share capital equipment purchases.
Can I develop molds and tooling?
Yes. New molds and tools can be developed and used in the design stage and prototype development.
Can I buy software to improve our efficiency?
Yes. TAAC can cost share software purchases and upgrades as well as subsequent training for the use of the software.
Can TAAC cost share trade shows?
Some costs associated with trade shows are eligible.
Can TAAC cost share improvement projects that our firm implements on our own?
No. Funds are not paid directly to the firm. Once an outside consultant is hired, the consultant is paid by both the firm and by TAAC.
Who picks the consultants?
TAAC requests that firms seek competitive bids; however, the firm has sole discretion to choose the consultant of their choice.
How do consultants get paid?
Consultants bill the firm. For 50/50 percent cost share projects, consultants pay 50 percent and TAAC pays 50 percent. For 25/75 percent cost share projects, consultants pay 25 percent and TAAC pays 75 percent. The consultant is paid by TAAC only once part of the project (progress payment) or all of the project is completed (final payment) and TAAC has received notification that the consultant has been paid by the firm.
Will my competitors find out about my financial information or trade secrets?
No. TAAC and the central TAA office are prohibited from releasing any information to outside sources.
Will financial or other information be shared with the IRS or other government agencies?
None of the information you provide is disclosed to any other federal, state or local agency. All proprietary and financial information is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.