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Ceilings Plus Named Ex-Im Bank Small Business Exporter of the Year

Growing Export Sales Helps California Company Add More Than 70 Jobs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 8, 2012

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Jamie Radice (202-565-3200)

Washington, D.C. - Ceilings Plus, a California small business manufacturer and installer of high-quality aluminum and wood ceilings and wall panels, will receive the Small Business Exporter of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). The award will be presented at the Bank's 37th Annual Conference, Ex-Im -Your Competitive Edge, on April 12 in Washington, D.C

In cooperation with Bank of the West as the guaranteed lender, Ceilings Plus has been using Ex-Im Bank's working capital loan guarantee since 2007. The company, which now exports to 5 countries, recorded $30 million in sales this year and created 73 American new manufacturing jobs.

Ceilings Plus is a great example of a small business that has been extremely successful in the international marketplace, said Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. With 95% of the world's customers outside the United States, it is critical that we encourage our small business owners to sell more products to more customers in more countries.

Thanks to Ex-Im Bank, more than 50% of our business now comes from exports and we have created 73 new jobs, said Nancy Mercolino, president of Ceilings Plus. Exports have increased our bottom line, and I am looking forward to reaching more international markets.

In Fiscal Year 2011, Ex-Im Bank authorized nearly $400 million in financing for California small businesses, making it one of the leading states in the country for Ex-Im small business financing. Over the past three years, the Bank's small business financing has increased by more than 70 percent, from $3.3 billion in FY 2008 to $6 billion in FY 2011, and it is up $1 billion from last year.

Ex-Im Bank's 2012 Annual Conference will feature prominent members of the business and government community including; President Bill Clinton, chairman of the Clinton Global Initiative, Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel, Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Commerce Secretary John Bryson, David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, and Mo Ibrahim, founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. A full listing of speakers, panelists, and moderators is available on Ex-Im's website.

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.