Tampa Bay Export Alliance Trade Mission to the Dominican Republic Projects $6.8 Million in Export Sales for Local Companies

December 19, 2016

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – (Dec. 19, 2016) – The Tampa Bay Export Alliance (TBEA), a cooperative effort of Pinellas County Economic Development, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and the Pasco Economic Development Council, today announced that the companies participating in December’s trade mission to the Dominican Republic have projected future sales of approximately $6.8 million as a result of the trip.

Thirteen local companies participated in the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key Service (GKS) Matchmaker program, which provided customized one-on-one meetings with companies in the Dominican Republic. These Gold Key companies conducted approximately 140 meetings with potential customers that resulted in the nearly $6.8 million in actual and expected export sales.

Thirty-six local business leaders traveled to the Dominican Republic from December 5-8, 2016 to participate in the export sales mission to the Caribbean island nation. This was the fourth joint mission between the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and Pinellas County Economic Development, and the first to feature the TBEA’s newest partner, the Pasco Economic Development Council.

“We’re excited to join the TBEA and contribute to their mission of promoting export opportunities for the Tampa Bay region’s companies,” said Bill Cronin, President and CEO of the Pasco Economic Development Council. ”We had a very busy week, and I think the projected sales of $6.8 million speak to the effectiveness of our efforts. Our region has a proven brand that is attractive to both international trade and foreign direct investment. We’re going to build on this success to grow our companies and create jobs.”

The delegates arrived in the capital city of Santo Domingo and activities included a country commercial briefing by the U.S. Embassy, a welcome reception hosted by the U.S. Ambassador, and a “Doing Business in the Caribbean” briefing at the U.S. Embassy.

“This was our first trade mission, so we did not know what to expect, but the experience was invaluable to the future of our company,” said Theresa Pagano, President of Global Sign Restoration. “We were matched with the right people who could benefit from our services and came home from the trade mission with a very promising opportunity for a large contract that we would not have had the chance to pitch for otherwise. We cannot thank the entire team enough for their efforts.”

“The trip was a big success,” said Scott Grisack, owner of Symmetry Office, a Gold Key participant. “We had a plan to begin exporting and [TBEA] helped make that a reality. They arranged well-qualified appointments with real buyers on our mission trip to the Dominican Republic that would have taken us months to find on our own.”

“The mission helped us to expand our market reach into the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean markets,” said Brian Rogers, President of Shadow-Caster Lighting. “Our product is particularly suited to this region, and the meetings that were pre-arranged for us confirmed the viability of this market for us. We’re looking forward to closing these deals.”

The export sales mission to the Dominican Republic was generously sponsored by Tampa International Airport, Port Tampa Bay, and Enterprise Florida. These organizations also sent delegates who participated in the mission’s trade agenda.

For more updates on the Tampa Bay Export Alliance, please visit TampaBayExportAlliance.com.

About The Tampa Bay Export Alliance
The Tampa Bay Export Alliance (TBEA) is a cooperative effort between Pinellas County Economic Development, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and the Pasco Economic Development Council. It was formed to grow jobs and capital investment by increasing the international export of products and services within the Tampa Bay region. The TBEA conducts joint export activities, such as seminars, trade events and trade missions, and supports the export-related growth initiatives of regional economic partners, including Tampa International Airport and Port Tampa Bay. Visit www.tampabayexportalliance.com.