Centered in Frankfurt, Michigan, Graceland Fruit, Inc. has been an innovator in the food preservation field from its earliest days. Founded in 1973 in the heart of northern Michigan’s famed cherry-growing region, Graceland Fruit employs more than 250 workers focused on perfecting the art of fruit drying. Shipping to over 65 countries worldwide, this small business has become a global leader in providing access to year-long accessible fresh fruit.
A key element of Graceland’s innovative business model was initiated in 1995 when the company started exporting to markets worldwide. To further grow that capacity to export, Graceland realized it needed a way to offer extended payment terms to overseas customers. That’s where the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) stepped in, providing the necessary support with export credit insurance.
Export credit insurance is an insurance policy that protects a company’s foreign accounts receivable against nonpayment by international buyers. U.S. exporters are assured their bottom line will be protected should their foreign customers fail to pay.
With the agency’s help, Graceland’s export shipments insured by EXIM increased nearly 75 percent from $24 million in 2014 to $42 million in 2018. And, they’re on track to top that in 2019, with more than $30 million in exports so far this year. Exports account for 60 percent of the small businesses revenue. EXIM allowed Graceland Fruit to save the jobs of hundreds of workers in the Midwest and expand into new global markets!