Illinois Department of Agriculture
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Branded Program Overview

For Program Details, please refer to the current Branded Program Manual

to be mailed to pre-qualified applicants and can be downloaded from www.brandedprogram.org)

 

Application Process

1.Company completes Pre-Qualification Worksheet to determine eligibility

  • Only small companies and Agricultural Producer Cooperatives are eligible
  • Most, but not all, product lines are eligible. Companies with confections or meats for example should contact our office to discuss eligibility!
  • Earliest response is important in the competitive allocation process!

2. Company completes application

  • $200 application fee payable to our organization is due with application
  • Initial application deadline is October 1st (review on a rolling basis thereafter)

Approval and Allocation

3. The Review Committee determines Company's funding allocations

  • Allocations (reimbursement ceilings) are individual and competitive in nature
  • Allocations are determined by many factors including:
  • Economic impact in our region - Viability of marketing plans
  • Years of exporting experience - Previous Branded Program experience
  • Return on investment in the form of increase sales projections
4. Applicant receives Allocation Letter and approval of activity plan

5. Applicant signs Branded Program Agreement and pays administrative fees

  • Administrative fees are based on 6% of the approved funding amount allocated

Program Year

6. Program year runs from January 1st to December 30th of the following year. Company incurs promotional expenses(issues payment) and submits documentation to our office for reimbursement of the eligible activities which occur in the program year. Only expenses incurred after the approval date (stated in the approval letter) are eligible for reimbursement.

  • Eligible promotional activities can include:
    • In-store demonstrations
    • Int'l trade shows & certain travel costs (air fare, hotel and per diem for two employees)
    • Promotional literature
    • Product advertising (radio, magazine, billboard)
    • Freight for samples - Approved Domestic Trade Shows
  • Company is expected to submit claims throughout the year (preferably within 60 days of expense.
  • Participating companies receive 50% reimbursement for eligible and properly documented promotional activities, usually within 30 days of submission.

7. We review promotional activity documentation from company

  • Certain documentation is vital to approval, including but not limited to:
    • An invoice for services provided
    • Proof of payment of the invoice
    • Proof of activity for the services detailed on the invoice
    • Proof that a statement of US origin was represented at the event or on the printed material
  • Upon receipt of all necessary documents, we will request the funds from FAS and issue reimbursement to the company.

End of Year

8. Company submits evaluation and sales results at end of program year

  • These results are kept confidential and used for aggregate program analysis

9. FAS Compliance auditors review all paid claims to confirm eligibility


Questions or comments.

Copyright 2001
State of Illinois Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 19281, State Fairgrounds
Springfield, IL 62794-9281
(217) 782-2172