February 2, 2017      wtcutah.com   Facebook Twitter   LinkedIn   Instagram

Helping Utah Companies Think, Act and Succeed Globally

CEO Derek Miller

President's Message
Derek B. Miller, World Trade Center Utah

The world is complex and changing quickly (have you checked the news lately!). It is more important than ever to stay on top of what’s happening in the global economy.

One benefit of this bi-monthly newsletter is the News Headlines section that provides highlights from Utah and around the globe. You can also stay connected real-time via Twitter @WTCUtah and @DerekMillerUtah. Our goal is to keep you and your business informed on international business and its rapidly changing landscape. You may also see the occasional tweet from me about the Utah Jazz!

Happy exporting!

Going Global: BGZbrands

Lehi-based BGZbrands, the parent company behind mobile accessory brands BodyGuardz, Lander and Moxyo, is proving the world can be your marketplace, thanks to impressive international growth and expanding consumer interest.

What began in 2002 as a humble dream in a spare bedroom in the home of April and Kirk Feller has grown into a truly unique business. Starting first with a small line of screen protectors for a limited number of devices, the company has evolved into an internationally-focused organization with three brands that provide millions of products to mobile device users across the globe.

BodyGuardz is a leading device protection company, while Lander sells expedition-inspired accessories "for the explorer in all of us," and Moxyo is a rapidly growing "modern accessories" company.

Together, the companies are expanding daily into new markets as part of a global effort to meet consumer demand for high-quality and beautifully simplistic mobile solutions to protect and enhance the latest devices from Apple, Samsung and others. In fact, BodyGuardz's phone cases and Lander's Neve cables are among the top selling consumer electronic accessories in the Philippines. In addition, the company has grown its presence in Canada, the Netherlands, the Middle East, United Kingdom and throughout Europe.

The company has also experienced rapid growth opportunities in Australia through multiple distribution channels, which include the country's most prominent mobile provider. Meanwhile, BGZbrands is furthering its international focus with products available in Thailand and New Zealand.

With a mission to enhance its customers' lifestyles through branded products and services of elevated value and quality, BGZbrands has become another Utah-grown international success story.

WTC Utah and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Team Up to Award Export Grants to Small Businesses

Utah businesses can now obtain up to $10,000 in grant money for their international expansion efforts thanks the new Utah Export Acceleration Grant program, which was announced at the Winter Innovation Summit and is funded by a $200,000 contribution from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The grants will provide Utah companies with funding to help offset the costs associated with global expansion and will be managed by WTC Utah. Funds from the program must be used to pay for services or resources that help the awardee's company grow internationally. Examples of services/resources that would qualify include legal and consulting work, money to conduct international market research, help covering the cost of translation services or funding to attend a trade mission.

Applications are available online at wtcutah.com. Submissions will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, so a business interested in receiving funding can apply any time over the next year. Funding amounts will be determined based upon a company's specific needs related to its international expansion.

A detailed plan for how the money will be used must be outlined in the application to be eligible for the grant. All companies that receive a grant have the option to compete in a pitch competition at the end of the year to potentially receive additional funding.

In announcing the grant program, WTC Utah President and CEO Derek Miller said, "JPMorgan Chase & Co. selected Utah to receive funding because of its strong, emerging economy and large number of small-to-medium-sized businesses. Companies in Utah are well positioned for international expansion, and this grant will provide the means for them to get the help they need."

Craig Zollinger, managing director for JPMorgan Chase in Salt Lake City, noted: "We support initiatives that provide opportunities for businesses striving to take their products and services to international markets. It's this type of grant that can transform small businesses and we view this as a critical step in providing a successful framework as it relates to export acceleration."

World Trade Center Utah and Salt Lake County previously worked with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Brookings Institution on the Global Cities Initiative (GCI). The outcome of GCI was a plan to increase exports in the Salt Lake metro area. The Utah Export Acceleration grant will be an important part of accomplishing this goal.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said the county is primed for a new era of economic development, which includes focusing on global opportunities. He anticipates the generous grant will help kick-start the county's regional export plan and will lead to more hiring by businesses that are serving global customers.

International business is an important part of the Utah's economy. According to WTC Utah data, the state exported $13.3 billion worth of goods in 2015 and is ranked fourth in the nation for export growth.

Global Management Certificate Program

Salt Lake Community College is starting a new Global Management Certificate course that begins Mar. 29 and runs through May 31, 2017. Classes are held every Wednesday night during that period from 6 to 9 p.m. at SLCC's Miller Campus, 9690 S. 300 West in Sandy

Three remote classes will also be live streamed via the UEN Network to participants at the applied technology colleges in Logan, Tooele and St George. For more information or to pre-register contact Stan Rees, Stan.rees@slcc.edu, or call 801-957-5336.

Go Global: International Business Seminar

The Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Center Utah will cohost the "Go Global: International Business Seminar" Mar. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus, Miller Free Enterprise Center, room 203, 9750 S. 300 West, in Sandy.

WTC Utah President and CEO Derek Miller will provide keynote remarks on the state of trade in Utah. Following Millers remarks, a panel of Sandy-located businesses will share best practices for expanding into new international markets. Attendees will also learn how exporting can help a business grow and expand its customer base. For more information or to register click here.

Toolbox: Doing Business in China

In 2016, World Trade Center Utah launched its "Doing Business In" newsletter article series. These articles highlight one of Utah's top export destinations and help companies navigate the opportunities and challenges the market presents.

China is a long-term, top exporting partner of Utah. In terms of export value, China has been among the top 10 destinations for Utah every month for the last decade. In 2015, Utah exported $13 billion worth of goods worldwide, with six percent of that going to China.

China can be a challenging place to do business despite a fast-developing business environment. Despite national efforts to reduce red tape, foreign companies often encounter administrative bureaucracy. Some industries actively discourage foreign investment in China with protectionist policies. Products and services related to information communication technology are among some of the most highly restricted in China.

China has a growing middle class and increasing demand for domestic consumption, making it an attractive destination for many U.S.-made goods. Consumer-based products and services are the mostly likely to be successful, as e-commerce is suggested to reach this customer group.

An increasingly advanced regulatory environment also creates a unique opportunity for clean energy-focused companies. Goods and services offering greener solutions stand to benefit from stronger environmental regulations and increasingly stringent emission standards in the coming years.

Market Entry Strategy
As with entering any new market, it is important to strategize the different means of entry. All entry strategies should have a plan to protect the intellectual property of the company before entering the Chinese market. It is suggested that companies work closely with lawyers who have extensive experience in China on this matter.

The United States Commercial Service offers consulting and personalized market entry solutions for small- to medium-sized companies to get into China. The services help companies understand regulations, obtain export financing and find potential partners.

For more information, or for any other help with your international expansion efforts, please contact the WTC Utah Trade Services Team at exportassistance@wtcutah.com.

Upcoming Events
Feb. 7 UCCD World Affairs Lecture
Feb. 15 Seminar: Opportunity Thailand – email boila@sbcglobal.net for more information
Mar. 1 Go Global: International Business Seminar
Mar. 8 International Women's Day Celebration: Exporting Ideas Abroad!
Mar. 15-23 Korea and Taiwan Trade Mission
April 14 Utah Economic Summit
May 3-10 Cuba Trip

News Headlines

Trade expert: Utah economy could be harmed by Trump's Mexico policy

Trump wall project could impact trade in Utah

$200K grant to help small Utah businesses expand globally

Syrian refugee crisis in spotlight at Sundance, has local ripples

On globalization, China and Trump are closer than they appear

Trump's trade war may have already begun

To understand a tax on Mexican imports, consider the avocado

America, China and the risk of a trade war

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