October Newsletter


Pictured: David Glaccum, Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade at the U.S. Small Business Administration, pictured with Kaddas Enterprises CEO Natalie Kaddas at the company’s facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

September was an exciting month for World Trade Center Utah! In addition to organizing a successful state-led trade mission to Asia – see our Trade Mission Recap below for the full story – WTC Utah was awarded with a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to support export growth among small businesses through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). This year’s award to WTC Utah is a $200,000 increase over the amount awarded in 2018, which is the largest increase among all grantees nationwide. This increase in funding is a result of the organization’s continued hard work as well as the success achieved by Utah’s companies who have received the STEP Grant over the past year.

This announcement comes as we open the STEP Grant funding application on our website and, as promised in our previous newsletter, announce our 2020 International Trade Show Lineup! You can now apply to receive funding for your own international efforts (you don’t have to use the funding on one of our trips!) or for the following international trade shows which are led by WTC Utah:

  • MEDICA Trade Fair (Düsseldorf, Germany)  Nov. 18 – 21, 2019
  • ISPO Munich (Munich, Germany)  Jan. 26 – 29, 2020
  • Singapore Airshow (Singapore)  Feb. 11 – 16, 2020
  • JEC World 2020 (Paris, France)  March 3 – 5, 2020 
  • Farnborough Air Show (United Kingdom)  July 20 – 26, 2020
  • Fine Foods Australia (Sydney, Australia)  Sept. 9-12, 2020

We are working to finalize our 2020 trade mission schedule. As of now and not yet confirmed, we are looking at a trip in April to the Middle East (United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and/or Saudi Arabia) and a trip in September to Australia.  Additionally, we are looking to schedule other trade missions elsewhere in 2020. We will send out additional details as plans materialize. 

To learn more about the STEP Grant and apply for funding, click here: wtcutah.com/grants/step-grant/.

Additionally, STEP Grant funding can be used for individual exporting activities which include obtaining services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce; accessing expertise in designing international marketing campaigns and export trade show exhibits; and participating in training workshops as well as other important means of engagement. 

On September 25th, WTC Utah, along with SBA, the U.S Commercial Service and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, hosted a seminar to help Utah companies learn how to apply for this grant funding. If you were unable to join us, you can reference the pdf of the instructional presentation here: wtcutah.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2020-Grant-Seminar-Slides-.pdf

We look forward to ramping up our international efforts in 2020 thanks to the U.S. Small Business Administration and the continued support of Team Utah!

STEP is funded in part through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.


STEP Grant Funding leads to International Success for Kaddas

On September 25, 2019, Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) David Glaccum visited Salt Lake City-based thermoformed plastic manufacturer Kaddas Enterprises, Inc. at their facility. The trip came about due to the fact that Kaddas has been a recipient of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant administered by World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah). STEP is funded in part through a grant with the SBA. Glaccum and representatives from both the SBA and WTC Utah were shown how Kaddas has utilized grant resources to complement and enhance their business strategy to expand domestically and internationally.

Founded in 1966, Kaddas Enterprises is a second generation woman-owned family business focused on manufacturing plastic thermoform products and cutting-edge, custom solutions for the energy, transportation and aerospace industries through Design Consultation, 3D CAD Drawings, Prototype Modeling and Parts Manufacturing.

Kaddas Enterprises employs 5-Axis CNC Router, 3-Axis CNC Router, Master CAM, Solid Works Modeling, 3D Scanning, Thermoforming and Pressure Forming machine technology. Thermoformed plastics are ideally suited for Transportation, Medical, High Tech and Industrial applications. Thermoforming provides low tooling and engineering costs, along with fast turnaround time. This makes Kaddas ideal for prototype development and low-volume production.

Natalie Kaddas is the Chief Executive Officer of Kaddas. Under Ms. Kaddas’s leadership, the company has pursued a global market strategy that has led to an international revenue growth of 750% over the last 6 years. With the aid of the STEP program, the company has been able to participate in international trade missions to Mexico, Germany and most recently at the Paris Air Show in June 2019. At the 2016 trip to Hannover Germany, Ms. Kaddas represented small businesses at a global industry event and was recognized by President Obama and Chancellor Merkel for their international success. In 2017, Kaddas Enterprises was awarded Small Business of the Year by the Salt Lake Chamber.

Customers of Kaddas Enterprises include:
Idaho Power, Utah Transit Authority, Moon Lake Electric, Powder River Energy, Weir Specialty Pumps, Siemens, Southern California Edison, PG&E and Stadler Rail.

Kaddas Enterprises is located at 255 North Apollo Road in Salt Lake City at its 90,000 square-foot International Center which opened in 2018. To learn more about how Kaddas can form an innovative solution for you visit kaddas.com or call (801) 972-5400.


Hong Kong and Japan Trade Mission Recap 

In late September, leaders from World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) organized a Utah delegation of executives from 22 business, civic, government, education and related organizations for an Asian trade mission led by Gov. Gary R. Herbert.

The delegation first visited Hong Kong, Asia’s “World City,” and then joined Gov. Herbert in Japan. The focus of these foreign visits was to build relationships and expand Utah’s trade and investment relationship with important businesses and institutions that make Hong Kong and Japan global economic hubs.

Home to 7.5 million people, Hong Kong means “fragrant harbour” and features a fertile start-up environment, a world-leading global banking and financial hub and the world’s largest offshore Renminbi business centre. Hong Kong has built its economic success around shipping, commerce and manufacturing, and with Utah’s Inland Port moving from concept to implementation, the Utah delegation visited with Modern Terminals, a company that owns and operates container terminals at Kwai Tsing Container Port and DaChan Bay Terminals in the Pearl River Delta. While there, the delegation gained valuable insight into Modern Terminals’s business model and the critical role ports play in the global trade market. The visit was especially helpful for the delegation to see the large port operations first-hand and make connections for the Utah Inland Port.

Next, Utah state representatives and business leaders met with executives from Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), a Hong Kong-based container shipping and logistics service company that operates a strategic office in Salt Lake City. The meeting focused on wide-ranging topics such as transportation infrastructure, new partnership opportunities, digitization challenges and ways Utah can increase its participation in Trans-Pacific Trade via Utah’s Inland Port.

In Japan, the delegation joined Gov. Herbert and met with Rakuten, the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales. The company, which employs more than 150 people in Utah, operates Japan’s biggest internet bank and number one credit card company by transaction value. The trade mission delegates engaged Rakuten leaders in discussions about new trade opportunities and learned about the growing e-commerce market in Asia. They were also able to build relationships and learn how Rakuten could help Utah businesses grow and expand.

While in Tokyo, Gov. Herbert met with Japanese business leaders at the U.S. deputy chief of mission residence, including a senior executive from SoftBank, a large investment fund that has invested more than $50 billion in U.S. technology companies. During the visit, Gov. Herbert shared information about the explosive growth of Utah’s tech industry and discussed why Utah is an attractive investment destination.

He also met with two newly appointed ministers in President Shinzo Abe’s administration: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Keisuke Suzuki, and Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Development, Hideki Makihara. They discussed how Utah and Japan could strengthen already-strong economic ties.

Japan offers a lucrative market for imported aircraft, aircraft parts and engines, and U.S. firms have an overwhelming presence in Japan due to long-standing relationships with domestic manufacturers and trading firms. Additionally, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries/Aerospace (MHI Aerospace) is increasing its investments into the United States. Members of the Utah delegation from the aerospace industry met with MHI Aerospace to discuss the rapid growth of Utah’s aerospace industry and opportunities for Utah aerospace companies to build commercial ties with Mitsubishi.

“The parallels between Utah and Japan’s thriving industries are abundant,” says Miles Hansen, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah. “Aerospace, life sciences and energy are top priorities for both markets, and each excels at innovation in these areas.”

Other members of the delegation, including Dr. Laura Nelson of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED), met with Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). Last May, MHPS and Utah-based Magnum Development announced an initiative to launch the world’s largest clean energy storage project of its kind, the Advanced Clean Energy Storage project, in central Utah. The project will incorporate 100 percent clean energy storage, deploying utility-scale technologies, which includes renewable hydrogen, compressed air energy storage, large-scale flow batteries and solid oxide fuel cells. During the meeting, the group discussed ways to strengthen this partnership and expand Mitsubishi’s investments in Utah.

During the trade mission Gov. Herbert highlighted the importance of international trade for Utah’s economy, saying it must not be underestimated. “Trade is particularly critical when we consider our relationship with Japan, Hong Kong and other Asian regions,” he added. “As we strengthen our trade ties with our international partners, we are indeed strengthening our own state.”

“Gov. Herbert is Utah’s greatest marketer,” says Hansen. “He’s an amazing diplomat and tells the Utah story better than anyone, especially regarding Utah’s successful tech industry, the state’s growing number of international investors and its global connections. Our job, as we follow up on the trade mission, is to channel the momentum and connections generated in Hong Kong and Japan to support the growth of Utah companies in Asia and attract investment to Utah.”


News Headlines

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will lead trade delegation to Japan this week — but he’s skipping Hong Kong

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