Bank foundation gives $200,000 to Kentucky for export grants

To expand the sale of Kentucky-made goods overseas, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation awarded $200,000 on Tuesday to create the BEAM-Kentucky Export Promotion Program.

BEAM, which stands for the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement, is a regional economic growth partnership launched last year by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. Their goal was to increase exports by 50 percent in five years; so far there have been 327 companies with new or increased exports, according to Gray's office.

The BEAM-Kentucky Export Promotion program will offer grants up to $4,500 for the purpose of connecting small businesses in Kentucky and Southern Indiana to export and business development resources. Eligibility requirements and applications are available at

"We are grateful to JPMorgan Chase, who shares our vision to build a world class manufacturing hub here in Central Kentucky," Gray said. "This program targets small businesses, working with them to become powerful exports of Kentucky goods. That's how jobs are created, and we are excited to help make that happen."