A note from Mark…

A step toward recovery…

On October 13, British Airways (BA) will resume its nonstop service between San Diego and London Heathrow. The flight that took our region’s global economic connectivity to a whole new level is finally back.

Ten years ago, the BA flight set off a new focus within our region on the role that direct, nonstop service to international markets could play in growing our economy through foreign direct investment and global trade. It was the catalyst for our Japan Airlines flight to Tokyo, our Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt, and continued strategies to expand our global reach and connectivity.

The flight also played a key role in the rebuilding of our region’s World Trade Center (WTC). We learned quickly that trade-related jobs were the kind of quality jobs we were hoping to create for more San Diegans, and that engagement with international markets could have a significant and positive impact on our region’s diverse small business community.

Now operated through EDC, the WTC partnership between the City of San Diego, the San Diego Airport, and the Port of San Diego was at its strongest just when the global pandemic shut down international travel (and life as we knew it). But while tourism and mobility from continent to continent slowed to a halt, the need for San Diego-based business to develop partnerships in foreign markets, tap into an international customer base, and draw financing from international investors did not. And while the work of WTC changed and pivoted slightly, the role that the team played in keeping our business community connected to international markets and resources remained steadfast.

It used to be very common for me to bump into colleagues at events who would ask, “Where do you think San Diego’s next international flight will be to?” or “Where is the WTC team going for their next trade mission?” I honestly so look forward to the days when these conversations and plans will be the norm again. But until then, I take great pride in the work our team continues to do to with our small business community to keep them globally connected and well-positioned to take advantage of new opportunities around the world as they emerge.

And as the BA flight once again connects us to London, the UK, and Europe, we view it as one important step in getting our economy back to full strength. Below you will find a summary of the team’s work, along with other highlights from WTC:

  • Now in its sixth year, MetroConnect VI is the flagship export initiative of WTC that provides small- and medium-sized companies with the resources necessary to engage in global markets. We encourage companies to apply by November 15, 2021 to become one of 15 companies selected to receive a $5,000 export assistance grant, attend private executive export workshops, get complimentary access to SystranPRO translation software, a shot at a $25,000 grand prize, and more.

With gratitude and optimism,

Mark Cafferty

LEARN MORE ABOUT WORLD TRADE CENTER SAN DIEGO

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Take your business global with MetroConnect VI

International arm of EDC opens applications for next round of MetroConnect

Take your company global or grow your existing international sales with MetroConnect VI, the sixth iteration of World Trade Center San Diego‘s flagship export assistance program presented by JPMorgan Chase and Procopio.

Apply now to become one of 15 companies selected to receive a $5,000 export assistance grant, attend private executive export workshops, get complimentary access to SystranPRO translation software, and more.

Company applicants must:

  • Be headquartered in San Diego
  • Be export-ready, meaning the company is already exporting its goods/services or looking to pursue international sales as a near-term priority
  • Have been in business for at least one year
  • Be an SBA-designated small businesses

In its first four years, MetroConnect San Diego assisted 65 small businesses in turning $790,000 in export funding into:

  • $85,000,000 in new international sales
  • 500 new international contracts
  • 18 new offices around the world

Meet the MetroConnect alumni, including past winners EDDY Pump, CureMatch, Cypher Genomics, and Rough Draft Brewing.

MetroConnect companies receive:

  • $5,000 private-sector funded export assistance grant
  • Seven executive workshops on export-related topics
  • Complimentary access to SystranPRO machine translation software
  • Discounts on international travel with partner airlines, such as American Airlines, British Airways, and Japan Airlines
  • EDC investor benefits for the duration of the program ($5,000 value)
  • PR and marketing support from WTC San Diego
  • Access to a network of mentors, consultants, and service providers in San Diego and overseas
  • Chance to compete for a $25,000 grand prize

Apply here by November 15

The application takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Learn more: