RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the launch of the nation’s first official state-led Supply Chain Optimization Program. Envisioned in the International Trade Strategic Plan for Virginia, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s new program is designed to help Virginia businesses evaluate and streamline their supply chain management and import processes. Companies accepted into the program will receive counseling, strategy development, and training resources from international trade experts to improve performance and reduce costs.
“Virginia’s comprehensive International Trade Strategic Plan outlines our ambitious goals to make businesses in the Commonwealth stronger, more resilient, and more competitive in the global marketplace,” said Governor Northam. “We are excited to implement the country’s first official Supply Chain Optimization Program as part of this long-term initiative. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s International Trade programs have a long track record of success. I am confident that the guidance they provide to businesses will move Virginia closer to achieving our international trade growth objectives.”
The International Trade Plan for Virginia, announced by Governor Northam in November 2019, set a goal to expand the Commonwealth’s international trade output by 50 percent before 2035. During the 2021 General Assembly session, $1.35 million were allocated to support the implementation of the International Trade Plan. $1.1 million of those funds were designated to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The remaining $250,000 went to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
“Launching the Supply Chain Optimization Program is a tremendous milestone and takes us one step closer to realizing the goals of Virginia’s International Trade Strategic Plan,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This program advances the Plan’s focus on state agencies as they assist companies that import critical elements of their supply chain to grow their capabilities and facilitate connections. I commend the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and all those who have worked together to ensure its success.”
“Through creating Virginia’s International Trade Strategic Plan, we have made it a priority to provide our exporters with a robust toolbox of programs and services that connect them with business partners around the world,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “The Supply Chain Optimization Program will greatly benefit our companies, including agriculture and forestry businesses, by offering tools to improve operational efficiency—leading to their success in the global marketplace.”
The one-year Supply Chain Optimization Program will support companies that import critical elements of their supply chain. It gives participating firms access to a maximum of $10,000 in reimbursements for their supply chain-related expenses. The expenses that will be covered include consulting services, connections with experts, and training sessions. Companies are eligible to participate if they have at least five full-time employees in Virginia and have their operations located in Virginia.
“A sustainable supply chain is critical to the growth of companies both domestically and abroad,” said Virginia Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Stephen Moret. “Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Supply Chain Optimization Program will help ensure Virginia businesses have the resources they need to successfully execute import initiatives that can also catalyze export opportunities. International trade has a tremendous economic impact on every region of the Commonwealth, and we look forward to this program positioning Virginia to be even more competitive in a global economy.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will hold an introductory webinar on the Supply Chain Optimization Program on September 14th at 2 p.m. Click here to register for this event.
More information on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s International Trade Programs is available here.