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Ex-Im Bank Chairman Hochberg Tells Bay Area Companies: We Can Help You Grow Sales by Exporting


Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Bay Area small businesses can grow profits and jobs by exporting, with the help of innovative financing products from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg said today.

Many Bay Area small businesses already are active exporters, but we want to help more of them successfully compete in the global marketplace, Hochberg said at the Small Business Exports Forum at the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. Ninety-five percent of the world's customers live outside of the U.S., but only 1% of U.S. businesses are exporting. We want to make it easier for more companies to tap this opportunity.

Hochberg noted that Zero Motorcycles Inc. of Scotts Valley, Calif., exports motorcycles that produce less than one-eighth of the CO2 pollution per mile produced by gas-powered motorcycles. The 48-employee company expects to grow export sales by more than 50 percent with certain buyers, backed by Ex-Im Bank export credit insurance. The insurance protects companies against buyer non-payment and increases their access to export financing.

Other successful Ex-Im Bank small business customers in the Bay Area include: 1) Laser Reference Inc. of San Jose, Calif., an exporter of laser systems for construction alignment to over 15 countries; and 2) SP Controls of South San Francisco, Calif., which exports audio visual control systems to Europe, Asia, Latin America, New Zealand and Australia. Both companies use Ex-Im Bank multi-buyer insurance.

Hochberg also described the Bank's new financing products that make it easier for local companies to compete in global markets:

Supply Chain Guarantee: increases liquidity for small-business suppliers of goods and services to U.S. exporters.

Reinsurance: helps U.S. small-businesses obtain private-sector insurance to cover risks of nonpayment of foreign receivables. Participating private-sector insurers can get reinsurance from Ex-Im Bank.

Solar Express: provides streamlined financing for U.S. exporters of solar-energy equipment for small solar-energy projects.

In California during fiscal year 2010, Ex-Im Bank helped 403 companies export $1.3 billion in U.S. goods and services. Of that total, 313 small businesses received financing to support $822 million of export sales. For the San Jose area during the fiscal year, the Bank helped 28 companies export $161 million, including 17 small businesses that exported $45.5 million.

Hochberg noted that Brookings Institution figures show San Jose ranks eighth in total export-related jobs among the 100 largest U.S. cities.

To learn more about Ex-Im Bank financing products, visit the web site at www.exim.gov, or call 415-705-2280 to reach Paul Watts in the Bank's Northern California Regional Office in San Francisco.

Ex-Im Bank, an independent, self-sustaining federal agency, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in export financing and strengthening U.S. export competitiveness. The Bank provides a variety of financing products, including working capital guarantees to help small and medium-sized U.S. businesses, export-credit insurance to protect against nonpayment by foreign buyers, and loan guarantees and direct loans to assist foreign buyers of U.S. goods and services.