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Atlanta Small Businesses Gain Competitive Edge with Invest Atlanta Partnership with Ex-Im Bank

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 15, 2012

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Adrian Gianforti (202-565-3200)

Washington, D.C. - Atlanta entrepreneurs will now have access to local resources that will help them increase export sales and boost job creation and growth. This assistance will come from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), which recently signed an agreement to partner with Invest Atlanta, Atlanta's Development Authority as Atlanta becomes the most recent city to join the Bank's City- State Partnership program.

Ex-Im Bank's City-State Partners bring state, county, and local non-profit economic development entities together to expand export opportunities for American small- and mid-size exporters by offering advice on successfully selling in the international marketplace. They provide a platform for local small business owners to stay up-to-date on Ex-Im Bank products and services and access trade finance specialists.

“This partnership with Invest Atlanta will support Georgia small businesses and help them gain access to overseas markets,” said Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank. “With Ex-Im Bank export financing products and services, the Atlanta business community will be able to grow sales and create jobs through exports.”

“This relationship with the City-State Partnership Program will greatly benefit our businesses and the City of Atlanta's economic development efforts,” said Brian P. McGowan, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “Atlanta is an international city conducting business around the world. Giving our businesses a more efficient path to overseas markets is a great way to ensure they have the opportunity to participate in the global marketplace.”

Invest Atlanta is the official economic development authority for the City of Atlanta. Its purpose is to strengthen Atlanta's economy and global competitiveness in order to create increased opportunity and prosperity for the people of Atlanta. Invest Atlanta is governed by a nine member board of directors, and it is chaired by Mayor Kasim Reed.

In FY 2011, Ex-Im Bank authorized more than $150 million in export financing to more than 60 Georgia businesses. This figure includes more than $90 million in small business authorizations. At the end of FY 2011, approximately 56 percent of Ex-Im's Georgia authorizations supported small businesses.

Since January 2011, Ex-Im Bank has expanded its outreach to small businesses through the Global Access for Small Business program. It is dedicated to dramatically increasing the number of small businesses exporting goods and services to maintain and create U.S. jobs. Global Access is supported by a wide variety of representatives from business, financial and government partners and is part of President Obama's National Export Initiative. Small-business owners have been given access to these representatives for one-on-one trade advising at more than 40 Global Access forums held across the country. To learn more about upcoming forums, see the Global Access events page on Ex-Im Bank's website.

About Invest Atlanta:
Invest Atlanta's programs and initiatives focus on developing and fostering public-private partnerships to accelerate job creation/economic growth, neighborhood revitalization/investment and innovation/entrepreneurship. Invest Atlanta's economic tools include bond financing, revolving loan funds, housing financing, tax increment financing and tax credits. More information is available on the Invest Atlanta website at http://www.investatlanta.com/index.jsp.

About Ex-Im Bank:
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers $1.9 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

Ex-Im Bank approved $32.7 billion in total authorizations in FY 2011 -- an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales -- also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $41 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 290,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.