Chairman Reed Addresses 2020 Annual Regional Export Promotion Program Meeting

REPP Partners Leverage Local Market Knowledge to Provide Assistance to Small Business Exporters Nationwide
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 10, 2020
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WASHINGTON - EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed yesterday addressed the 2020 Annual  Meeting of the Regional Export Promotion Program (REPP), highlighting the critical role REPP members play in utilizing their local market knowledge to link small business exporters to the global marketplace.

The meeting, hosted by EXIM's Office of Small Business, coincided with the 2020 EXIM Annual Conference, the largest conference in the agency's history, which is being held virtually September 9-11. REPP brings cities, counties, states, and local nonprofit economic development entities together with EXIM in a partnership designed to expand export opportunities.

"All of us at EXIM are grateful to our Regional Export Promotion Program members for their continuing support. By taking advantage of EXIM's valuable resources, these critical partners promote and grow U.S. exports in every region by making available trade-related assistance and international expansion services," said Chairman Reed. "REPP members are vital in enabling EXIM to reach small businesses nationwide and in educating businesses about how to export their goods and services using EXIM's financial tools."

During the virtual meeting, the REPP members also heard from:

  • Charles "Tee" Rowe, President and CEO, America's SBDC, the association of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).
  • Ross Branson, EXIM Senior Vice President, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs.
  • Luke Lindberg, EXIM Senior Vice President, Office of External Engagement.
  • Tamara Maxwell, EXIM Vice President, Minority and Women-Owned Business Outreach.
  • Amy Shinkman, EXIM Vice President, Export Credit Insurance.
  • Smaro Karakatsanis, EXIM Director of Business Credit.
  • Maureen Whelan, EXIM Business Development Specialist.
  • Aerek Stephens, EXIM Business Development Officer.

EXIM launched REPP in 1988 as a pilot program to build better relationships at the state level. In 2016, the program was overhauled to assist the Office of Small Business in meeting the congressional mandate that not less than 25 percent of the aggregate loan, guarantee, and insurance authority available to EXIM should be made available to finance exports directly by small business concerns.

There currently are 56 REPP members in 35 states and two U.S territories, including SBDCs, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) export centers, world trade centers, public-private partnerships, and state and city trade agencies. These REPP members bring local market knowledge and the ability to personally reach companies, serving as vital resources to connect EXIM with U.S. businesses that want to reach international markets. The program has yielded more than $25 million in new authorizations though direct referrals, connecting American small businesses to the global economy.

REPP enables U.S. small businesses to utilize EXIM's financing tools and resources to increase their international sales, showcase their "Made in the USA" products, and sustain American jobs. By partnering with EXIM, exporters can mitigate the risk of nonpayment on international sales, offer credit terms to foreign buyers, and access working capital loan guarantees. In addition, EXIM has implemented several COVID-19 (coronavirus) relief measures for U.S. exporters and financial institutions to enhance the agency's existing programs.


EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to support sales of U.S. goods and services to international buyers. A robust EXIM can level the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive support from their governments. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth by helping to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. In recent years, approximately 90 percent of the total number of the agency's authorizations has directly supported small businesses. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt. 

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