$1.2 million allocated to firms in southeast affected by cheap imports

The Georgia Tech Research Corporation has received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S Department of Commerce to help manufacturers in the southeast that have been impacted by cheap foreign imports.

The grant provides some funding and training to help businesses in eight southeastern states stay competitive in a global market.

Mark Hannah, director of the Southeast Trade Adjustment and Assistance Center, which administers the programs, said its too early to predict how recent tariffs imposed on U.S. exports may impact manufacturers in the state in the longterm.

“We are expecting there are going to be more challenges, but really we haven’t seen anything at this point. I think it’s just getting started,” said Hannah.

Hannah expects fewer companies in the region to apply for the grants due to the favorable economy. The number of applications spiked 10 years ago during the recession.

For a company to qualify for the grant, it has to have experienced a 5 percent decline in sales and employment.

Qualifying companies can get funding for up to $75,000 to improve their marketing and sales, production and engineering and financial management.

The grant is part of $13 million secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced would be distributed among 11 Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers nationally.