Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Matt Kisber this week announced the state will begin accepting applications for the 2008 Governor's Award for Trade Excellence (GATE). The awards will be given at the 55th Annual Governor's Conference on Economic and Community Development at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville on September 15 and 16.
"As Tennessee companies take a greater role in the global economy, we're fortunate to be able to recognize those businesses extending our state's reach into markets around the world," Governor Bredesen said. "Tennessee produces many high quality, industry leading products and growing the customer base for those products can create jobs here in Tennessee."
The awards are given to Tennessee companies that have shown strong growth in exporting in three categories: large companies (250 or more employees), medium sized companies (fewer than 250 employees) and small companies (25 employees or fewer). Companies may nominate themselves or be nominated by a trade association, customer or a person familiar with the company's achievements. Nominations can be submitted online at the ECD web site at www.tnecd.gov or an application can be downloaded and mailed to ECD. The department, along with international trade experts from the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Nashville, will review applications and make recommendations to the Governor and ECD Commissioner Matt Kisber for final approval. Application criteria and nominating details are available on the ECD web site.
The deadline for applications is August 22, 2008.
"We've seen lots of Tennessee companies generate strong growth by developing overseas customers," said ECD Commissioner Matt Kisber. "Companies, especially in strong growth regions like Asia and Europe, tell us they know and respect products made in Tennessee and with a weak dollar, those products are more affordable than ever."
Questions related to the application process can be directed to Nicole Gagliano at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development by emailing Nicole.Gagliano@state.tn.us or by calling (615) 253-1390.