RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the launch of the nation’s first official state-led Supply Chain Optimization Program. As outlined in the International Trade Strategic Plan for Virginia, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s new program is designed to help Virginia businesses streamline their supply chain management and boost their global competitiveness. Companies accepted into the program will receive counseling, strategy development, and training resources from international trade experts to improve performance and reduce costs.
“Virginia has worked hard to make businesses in the Commonwealth stronger, more resilient, and more competitive in the global marketplace,” said Governor Northam. “We’re excited to implement the country’s first official Supply Chain Optimization Program, which will support thousands of businesses and boost international trade. I look forward to seeing this program’s success.”
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. $1.35 million was allocated to support the implementation of this plan during the 2021 General Assembly session, with $1.1 million going directly to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
“Launching the Supply Chain Optimization Program is a tremendous milestone,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This program takes Virginia one step closer to realizing the goals of our International Trade Strategic Plan, and will help businesses grow their capabilities and facilitate global connections. I commend the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and all those who have worked together to ensure its success.”
“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. Covered expenses 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. “Our Supply Chain Optimization Program will help ensure Virginia businesses have the resources they need to successfully trade with companies around the world. International trade has a tremendous economic impact on every region of the Commonwealth, and we look forward to this program making Virginia even more competitive in the 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 Program is available here.