Frequently asked questions

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    Program details

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      What is the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program?

      Established by Congress in 1974, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce to help American manufacturers who have been negatively impacted by foreign competition. A group of 11 nonprofit TAA centers throughout the U.S. work with eligible firms to improve their business competitiveness in the global market.

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      Is this the same program as Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers?

      No. For more information on that program, see the U.S. Department of Labor web site at: www.doleta.gov/tradeact or call 202-693-3560.

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      What can Trade Adjustment Assistance do for my firm?

      Firms receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance have experienced the following benefits: cost-share funding for eligible improvement projects, objective analysis of their firm as well as their competition, and ongoing support to improve business performance and profits.

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      How can I find out if I am eligible?

      TAAC will assist you in determining program eligibility based on sales, employment and import activity. Contact us at 800-336-8205.

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      How long do I need to be in business to be eligible?

      A firm needs to be in business at a minimum of two years.

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      How do I get started?

      Contact us at 800-336-8205.

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      Do companies compete for TAAF cost share grants?

      No. Firms only need to meet eligibility criteria to be considered for funding.

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    Program cost

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      Do you charge my firm for completing the petition certification application?

      No. The petition certification application is completed by TAAC free of charge.

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      Do you charge my firm for completing the adjustment proposal application?

      There is a small fee for development of the adjustment proposal application depending on the amount of grant funding request. This amount ranges from $1,500 - $2,500.

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      How much funding is available?

      The actual amount of funding to be requested is established by the firm and TAAC as part of developing an adjustment proposal for the firm. There are two options for funding, a 50/50 percent cost share option and a 25/75 percent cost share option.

      50/50 percent cost share option - There is a maximum of $150,000 of total project funding under this option on a 50/50 percent (firm/government) cost share basis. This means a maximum of $150,000 of projects could be funded with the firm paying 50 percent of the costs and the government paying 50 percent of the costs.

      25/75 percent cost share option - There is a maximum of $30,000 of total project funding under this option on a 25/75 percent (firm/government) cost share basis. This means that a maximum of $30,000 of projects could be funded with the firm paying 25 percent of the costs and the government paying 75 percent of the costs.

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      When do I have access to funding?

      Typically, a petition application to certification eligibility can take two to four months from preparation to approval depending on the complexity of the firm and the availability of needed information. Once certification is received, an adjustment proposal can take two to three months from preparation to approval.

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    Use of funds and implementation

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      Can I use the funding for anything I want?

      Eligible project categories are Finance, Marketing/Sales, Management, Production, and Support Systems. TAAC project managers work directly with each firm to outline eligible projects the firm wants included within each of these categories in their adjustment proposal. Funds can then be used to pay for outside industry experts to implement these projects. Funds cannot be used to purchase capital equipment or to fund any operational expenses.

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      Can I use the funds for more than one project?

      Yes. Funds can be spent on multiple projects as specified in the firm's adjustment proposal.

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      Is there a timeframe for using all funds?

      Yes. Once an adjustment proposal is approved, the firm has up to five years to spend funds on improvement projects.

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      Can I use the funding for employee training?

      Yes. Funds can be used for on-site or off-site employee training. However, funds cannot be used to subsidize any salaries.

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      Can I use the funding for product or process certification?

      Yes. Funds can be used for a variety of product and process certifications.

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      Can I buy equipment?

      No. Capital equipment cannot be bought with TAAF program funding.

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      Can I develop molds and tooling?

      Yes. New molds and tools can be developed and used in the design stage and prototype development.

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      Can I buy software to improve our efficiency?

      Yes. Funds can be used to purchase and upgrade software as well as subsequent training of software.

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      Can I use the funding to attend trade shows?

      Some costs associated with trade shows are eligible.

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      Can our firm use the money to implement projects on our own?

      No. Funds are not paid directly to the firm. Once an outside consultant is hired, the consultant is paid by both the firm and by TAAC.

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      Who picks the consultants?

      TAAC requests that firms seek competitive bids; however, the firm has sole discretion to choose the consultant of their choice.

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      How do consultants get paid?

      Consultants bill the firm. For 50/50 percent cost share projects, consultants pay 50 percent and TAAC pays 50 percent. For 25/75 percent cost share projects, consultants pay 25 percent and TAAC pays 75 percent. The consultant is paid by TAAC only once part of the project (progress payment) or all of the project is completed (final payment) and TAAC has received notification that the consultant has been paid by the firm.

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    Information sharing

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      Will my competitors find out about my financial information or trade secrets?

      No. TAAC and the central TAA office are prohibited from releasing any information to outside sources.

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      Will financial or other information be shared with the IRS or other government agencies?

      None of the information you provide is disclosed to any other federal, state or local agency. All proprietary and financial information is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.