Chairman Reed Hosts Small Business Stakeholder Teleconference to Outline COVID-19 Relief Measures
WASHINGTON - Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed today hosted a teleconference to emphasize EXIM's commitment to support small businesses and explain EXIM's temporary relief measures for American companies and workers impacted by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.
Chairman Reed and senior EXIM staff addressed more than 400 registrants representing a wide cross-section of the small business community, including small business exporters, financial institutions, insurance brokers, trade associations, government officials, and other external stakeholders as well as members of EXIM's Advisory Committee and Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee.
"Our goal is to help American exporters - particularly our small businesses - remain successful," said Chairman Reed. "The Trump Administration is taking a number of steps to support small businesses, and we are an important tool in that toolbox of solutions."
Chairman Reed encouraged small businesses to reach out with questions and suggestions about how EXIM can provide support during this crisis. "We're here for you, so please send us your comments," she added.
Senior Vice President of Small Business Jim Burrows outlined the measures EXIM has implemented to provide maximum financing flexibility, underscoring the agency's commitment to helping small business exporters weather the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 global pandemic. That includes modifications in the two primary programs used by small businesses - working capital loan guarantees and export credit insurance.
Since May 2019, when a quorum was restored to the Board of Directors, EXIM has authorized approximately 1,635 small business transactions totaling $1.7 billion, which have supported thousands of U.S. jobs.
"EXIM recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic around the world has left many in difficult situations," Burrows said. "During these challenging times, we are committed to our mission of supporting U.S. jobs through exports. EXIM is open and operational, and we will continue to do everything we can to support our American businesses and workers."
Vice President of Business Credit Steve Freshour detailed specific program modifications aimed at helping small businesses, including:
- Supply Chain Financing Guarantee Program: In light of expected liquidity constraints in exporter supply chains, EXIM will expand this program by relaxing its criteria and increasing its guarantee level.
- Working Capital Guarantee Program: Based on the need for working capital financing support given the growing liquidity pressure on suppliers and exporters, EXIM will temporarily modify the program to make it more flexible.
Vice President of Export Credit Insurance Amy Shinkman discussed modifications to short-term export credit programs - more than 75 percent of which are used by small businesses - including offering an extension of payments of up to 90 days on invoices owed by foreign customers coming due between February 1, 2020, through June 1, 2020.
Also participating in the stakeholder teleconference were Senior Vice President of External Engagement Luke Lindberg and Director of Outreach and Education in the Office of Small Business Elizabeth Thomas, who outlined how EXIM will be using digital technology to remain connected with the exporting community during this time of social distancing.
"Small businesses need as much support as possible during this unprecedented period, and I applaud Chairman Kimberly Reed for her leadership and use of the EXIM team in pivoting their resources towards such support," said Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council and chair of the Small Business Roundtable. "This is critical to ensuring small businesses emerge strong and whole once we are on the other side of this crisis."
On March 12, EXIM announced initial relief measures - waivers, deadline extensions, streamlined processing, and flexibility - for its working capital loan guarantee and export credit insurance programs for an initial period of 30 days.
On March 25, EXIM's Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution affirming further temporary relief measures, including developing the Bridge Financing Program and expanding the Pre-Delivery/Pre-Export Financing Program as well as the adjustments to the Supply Chain Financing Guarantee Program and Working Capital Guarantee Program listed above.
Complete details about EXIM's response measures are available on the coronavirus response page.
Small business exporters are encouraged to reach out to EXIM with questions and suggestions.
The full teleconference is available on EXIM's website.
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.
For more information about EXIM, please visit www.exim.gov.